Understandably, you don’t quite believe this. But fail-proof? That’s a sure bet.
Quick question– how did you sleep? Now, I don’t think I care much for the textbook answer. Surely you know what that is, “it was good, yours?” Right? I guess this is the part of adult life a lot of people readily testify to.
Here’s a short story. At a time in a certain young one’s life (P.s– the young one’s me.) Anyway, I used to work a painstaking 10-hour shift.
Now, this is where the story gets sour. I’d get home; do the usual. And of course, expect a good night’s rest. But guess what. That was not to be. My body had taken a liking for insomnia (without my notice, that is.) So that explains the story’s conclusion.
Would you like to know how I recovered?
How to trick yourself to sleep like a baby.
So, it’s not gonna be another full-blown story anyway but I had a session with Jane, a Somnologist. When I got tired of tossing and turning. Here are some tips on how you can Zzz better.
Regulate Your Exposure To Light.
Yeah, you’d wake up to a burst of bright sunshine. Light. Go to work. Light. Hang out with friends or go home directly. Even more light. Now that’s not a problem.
Here’s where the problem lies.
- Night activities.
The hormone that regulates sleep, Melatonin is highly controlled by light exposure. What does that say?
Avoid bright screens (TV, computer and the likes.) So, let’s say you could catch your favorite shows on repeat; in more godly hours.
Not only does nocturnal telly do the worst for light regulations. Most of them are more rousing than they are unwinding.
Advice– keep the lights down once it’s bedtime. And keep them that way if you get up at midnight. Check more on how to trick yourself to sleep.
2) Monitor Your Body’s Circadian Rhythm.
What’s that? Your natural sleep-wake cycle. Are you in any way like me?
No matter how late I slept; no way could I sleep past 6 am. Should I go to bed at 5 am. I’d still wake at the said time, trust me.
Jane made me start a serious sleep timetable and she sure knew how to enforce one.
Well, it is common knowledge that “you can get high-quality sleep by keeping your sleep cycle in tunes with the rhythms of the universe.”
I know that is not the most straight-forward of things but it is true.
She made me sleep at the same time every day. That seems simple except you ever have to set an alarm for the singular purpose of crashing. Ridiculous, right? Nope.
Whether or not we come to terms with it, our body is way more sensitive than we give credit.
Sleeping at a set time means all of that. For the most, you need to avoid elongated napping. Yes, it is good but when you doze for 3 hours during the day. It’s only natural you’ll find you are too rested for sleep.
Chances are you’d start nodding after a meal but do something. Call a friend, dance, make sure the house is well locked. Anything. All this till you’re safe and happy in bed.
3) Check Your Meals Are Right.
Do you love pre-bedtime chowing? Well, don’t feel bad about it. It happens to the best of us. But you probably need to curb it.
Things as innocent as a heavy meal. You need to be able to avoid stomach aches or any form of upset, at that.
Drinking alcohol, coffee or overly drinking other fluids may need revisiting. These fluids– especially alcohol, may help at the time but almost surely will affect the cycle. Having to run back and forth to the bathroom. Surely will do more harm than good.
Reducing your sugar intake also helps a lot. You know how sugar makes you hyper. Being ‘hyper’ is the least of things you need when you wanna hit the sack.
Please and please. Avoid night snacking; if it doesn’t work for you. To avoid any unnecessary belly hassles.
4) Unwind And Cool Off
Surely, this is one of those catchy sentences that don’t actually do much. But what if you went through the stress of doing so with a routine?
You need to learn to chill. Treasure your precious body the much you can. It shelters all of ‘you’, remember?
Most insomniacs may not know but we need to do anything that won’t stimulate our brains. You know how easy it is to get distracted by a message beep from our phone. It is as easy with hitting-the-hay.
How hard is it really to focus on that– okay, I do know. Very.
But there’s a popular breathing exercise that is known to help. It involves regulating your breathing. As simple as that. Lay down and breathe rhythmically.
Or have this exercise to examine and release places under stress.
Lay on your back. Make sure your eyes are closed; with your arms firmly at each side. Then proceed to breathe for 2 minutes. All the while, your eyes stay closed. The goal is to loosen.
Go on ahead to check that your left foot is not tense. Remember, you aren’t done breathing. Now, imagine the breath flowing to them. Do this for 6-7 seconds. Do the same for the right foot.
Move on to these parts; calf, knee, thigh, and hip. Then move upwards. Doing the same thing. Do not forget. The aim is to target anything tense.
After this. Check how you feel. You should feel more rested.
When you’ve perfected all this. You’d just need to exercise more. Way before bunk hours, of course. Also, you’d want to make sure the lights and sounds are as minimal as can be. The temperature of your space needs to be just right.
Your bed is for crashing and other sexually related activities (winks.) This way your brain knows it’s all-business once you get there.
If after all this; you still aren’t there. Do something less engaging like breathing more or reading a book.
Stay off your phone. Your brain doesn’t need to set the alarm bells yet.
So with this. I’ve been able to sleep so peacefully. Like a newborn. I can’t explain the joy I feel when I wake up rejuvenated.
So what’s your sleep cycle like? Care to share? Or are there some tips not here? Please let us know in the comments section.