Not everyone is blessed with the ability to sleep like a baby every night.
If you are troubled by insomnia from time to time, you are not alone.
But lucky for you, there are some tricks that can help you fall asleep quickly.
Take a warm shower before bed
As talked about in a previous Ecosa Sleep article, a warm shower before bed can relax your muscles and wash away the tensions built up throughout the day.
A rapid drop in the body temperature after getting out of the shower serves as natural sleep indicator and can help you fall asleep more efficiently.
What’s more, the hot steam in the shower also opens up your pores and is a healthy deep-cleansing ritual for the skin. Clean and unclogged skin is also linked to better sleep quality.
Do some light exercises to wear your muscles out
An appropriate amount of exercises in the evening can really accelerate the time it takes to fall asleep.
But make sure to avoid vigorous exercises such as running, boxing and heavy weigh-lifting because they will dramatically increase your heart rate and adrenaline level and make you too excited for bed.
Recommended exercises that can improve your sleep quality include yoga, Pilates and walking.
For more details about what kind of workout is ideal before bed, see previous article ‘Can we workout before sleep’).
It is also important to wind down after a series of exercises to get ready for bed. As aforementioned, a warm shower is always a top option to relax the body.
Try meditation and breathing exercises
Meditation is no longer a novel concept, but many people still do not realise how powerful it can be.
Meditation encourages people to concentrate on the present, such as the scents in the room and the sounds outside the window. It is an effective exercise to train the brain, enhance one’s attention span and relieve symptoms of anxiety.
Meditation can be done with or without music and there are some great applications that come with audio instructions for the exercise and can be downloaded onto your phone.
In the early stages, it would only take you a few minutes to finish the exercise and unlike running or swimming, meditation is an exercise for the mind.
There is a popular breathing technique called the “4-7-8” method. This method involves breathing in through your nose four times, holding your breath for seven seconds and exhaling through your mouth eight times.
All the inhales and exhales in the “4-7-8” technique are shallow ones, which forces your heart rate to slow down and helps the body to wind down.
This cycle can be repeated several times to achieve the best results. This technique can also be used during stressful times such as before a presentation or speech.
Avoid heavy meals at night
For those who really care about their weight and fitness, a light and healthy dinner is a must.
Ecosa Sleep has also published an article on ‘How long before bed should you stop eating”, which specifies the “three-hour rule” of eating before hitting the sack.
The golden rule is do not eat in the three hours leading up to bed because your body would not be able to digest the food.
Going to bed with a full stomach may have you toss and turn throughout the night while your metabolism is working hard to digest what you have eaten.
You also are more likely to grind your teeth and wake up to go to the toilet if you have had a heavy dinner.
A healthy dinner recipe includes fruit, low-fat meat and dairy and vegetables.
So a warm shower, light exercises, meditation and healthy dinner can all help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. But a high-quality mattress and some comfortable bedding are also essential for a good night of sleep.