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8 Tips to Improve Your Sleep Quality

By Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre
2, July, 2020

Some common signs of poor-quality sleep

Frequent sleep disturbances, fatigue early in the morning, the feeling of incomplete sleep, the want to sleep more after waking up in the mornings, or even daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep quality. Additionally, taking very long to fall asleep, constantly getting up in the middle of the night, tossing and turning in bed, etc. also indicate poor sleep quality. We recommend a few simple changes that you can make in life which could enable a good night’s sleep.  

8 Healthy Habits for a Good Quality Sleep… 

1. Establish a bedtime routine:

Calming down your body and relaxing, will help you get a better-quality sleep. Taking a warm saltwater shower or reading books, listening to soothing music or slow & calming activities, etc. will help you relax as well. Most of us will need a good 7-9 hours’ sleep and it is also proven that the best time to go to bed is around 10 pm. 

2. Make the bedroom conducive to sleep

Don’t use your bedroom as an extension of your office, for answering phone calls and responding to emails. The bed needs to be a stimulus for sleeping, not for wakefulness. You can also try and avoid bright lamps in the bedroom and consider blackout curtains or any other things that assist you in relaxation. 

3. Eat sensibly

An upset stomach can be quite enough to keep you awake, and so can an overly full belly as well. Avoid eating a big meal within two to three hours before bedtime. Should you need a snack just before bedtime, make it a small cut of fruit/ vegetables or herbal tea. Also, foods that are too spicy, hot, highly citrus, overcooked, fried etc. can increase acid secretion which in turn results in acid reflux or GERD and this could also affect your sleep negatively. 

4. Exercise

A daily routine of a short and high-intensity interval training or moderate cardio not only helps to trim you down but also helps give a good night’s sleep. Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. For good sleep, it is also recommended to avoid any strenuous activity right before bedtime. 

5. Digital Detox

Television, computer, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets can be quite distractive before you go to bed especially when they are used in the bedroom.  Research shows that blue light emitted from these gadgets especially blocks the hormone melatonin that makes one sleepy! A dark, cool and quiet surrounding with no light, is extremely important for quality sleep. 

6. Sleep rituals

There can be many practices that one is comfortable with before going to bed such as reading a good book, taking a salt bath, listening to soothing music, etc.; all these habits can help signal the mind when it is time to enter into a good sleep. This is a form of self-hypnosis. Trying to avoid any emotionally stirring/upsetting conversations or remembering any unhappy situations before sleep should also be a must. 

7. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the late hours

Alcohol, coffee, chocolate, black teas, etc. are stimulating foods and do not help improve the quality of sleep. Alcohol appears to be making you drowsy, however, it can disrupt the natural sleep rhythm. These beverages also tend to make you more alert and active at a time when the body needs to be getting ready to lie down.

8. Exposure to nature 

Exposing yourself to natural sunlight is extremely important to all, especially people who spend more time indoors. Sunlight helps to ensure adequate vitamin D and this exposure to daylight and darkness helps set the day and night body clock and sleep-wake cycle as well. 

Read how a sleep retreat can help you beat insomnia & poor sleep