8 ways to get a great night's sleep

November 14, 2014

You can easily transform the quality of your sleep by adopting these eight simple measures.

8 ways to get a great night's sleep

We all know how detrimental a lack of sleep can be — from being cranky with our loved ones to performing poorly on exams to being a danger to others on the road. You can easily transform the quality of your sleep by adopting these eight simple measures.

1. Keep cool

Sleeping under a heavy duvet might feel like you're escaping into your own warm and cozy world, but as you slumber, rising body temperature may compromise your sleep quality. Open your window and allow cool air to circulate. Better still, invest in a lightweight quilt wrapped in temperature-regulating silk.

2. Observe circadian rhythms

This one is easy; get into the habit of waking up when the sun rises and prepared for sleep at sunset. If this sounds rather extreme, keep the lights dimmed low as you prepare for slumber. Observing circadian rhythms assists in regulating metabolism whilst helping you avoid diseases associated with disrupted sleep patterns.

3. Form a habit

Having a regular bedtime throughout the workweek allows you to unwind and settle down at the same time each evening. Otherwise, you might find yourself wasting valuable sleep time surfing the Internet or watching TV simply for the sake of watching TV.

4. Use old remedies

A glass of warm milk and a slice of turkey does wonders for your tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is the amino acid responsible for making serotonin, a neurotransmitter that calms you down in preparation for a relaxing slumber.

5. No snacking after dinner

If you want to avoid a restless night ahead, it's best to allow a good three- to four-hour gap from your last meal of the day.

6. Say no to nicotine and alcohol

Initially, that glass of wine might make you feel sleepy, but as the night wears on, restlessness may ensue. The same applies to nicotine, a leading cause of vivid dreams.

7. Avoid late-night exercise

Partaking in strenuous exercise three to four hours prior to bedtime may rev you up. Instead, schedule gym activities in the early morning or late afternoon.

8. Practise bedtime Zen

Make your bedroom a technology-free zone. If possible, banish the TV, the work desk and the cell phone to another room. Hang blackout curtains and light a candle, then put your yoga practice into action. This important step of unwinding before bedtime signals that the day is coming to an end.

By adopting the eight measures above, you'll soon find that with a little discipline and dedication to the task, an optimum seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep is yours for the taking.

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