With school reopening, and new goals you might have set for yourself this year, it’s easy to forget one of the most important aspects of our day – quality sleep. Be it school work, working out or just spending time with your friends, nothing is more important than recharging yourself.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends seven to eight hours of sleep to fit into our busy schedules. If you have trouble getting some shut eye, here are 5 ways to get better sleep.
Warm shower and a cool room
Switch the air-conditioning on in your bedroom, and take a warm shower while your room temperature cools down. After your shower, you’ll notice the transition in temperature when you step into your room puts you in a sleepy mood. This is because the drop in temperature signals your body that it’s time for slumber. Heart rate goes down along with your breathing.
Yes, sometimes we can’t help but just take a nice afternoon nap after coming home right after school. However, more often than not, we end up taking naps lasting for more than two hours and wake up asking ourselves what year it is. Waking up at night can also stop us from taking proper sleep and would most probably lead to us sleeping for only three to four hours. Then coming to school drained and eager to get home to sleep immediately. A proper way is to take power naps that last around 20 minutes. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and you’ll wake up refreshed and alert. In addition, you could also drink a cup of coffee then immediately take your nap. The caffeine kicks around 20 to 30 minutes, just in time for you to wake up with an added boost.
You might have seen this cartoons or TV shows like Bear in the Big Blue House where he always has a cup of warm milk by his bedside table and gulps it down before dozing off. Well, it not only works on fictional talking bears but humans as well. Milk is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which produces sleep-inducing brain chemicals, namely, serotonin and melatonin. Milk is also high in protein that could aid in feeding your muscles while you rest.
Read before sleeping
Reading is a de-stressing activity, which helps put our brain at rest. This of course varies for different types of people. If you are a bookworm and could bury yourself for hours in a good read, you are better off skipping this one. If you are keen on picking up a book, make sure it is a hard copy and with a lamp light shining on the book. A smartphone or a tablet is an absolute no no. This is because the light that emits from the screens of electronic gadgets at night prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, the same chemical that the warm milk was helping you release has now gone to waste.
Play rain sound effects
The cold rain and thunders are of course the best combination to put you to sleep instantly. Unfortunately, we cannot pick the weather. However, there are dozens of videos online that plays rain noises just as though it was pouring outside. It doesn’t have to be only rain. A rainy atmosphere produces white noise. The brain adjusts to the one constant noise structure and cuts it off as it falls asleep. In comparison with an inconsistent noise, our brain would try to focus on that and keeps us from falling asleep. This my personal favourite white noise.