Naturally, all human beings need to sleep mainly at night when both the body and the mind rest. Various studies indicate that sleep is good for our physical and mental health. Individuals who often fail to get quality sleep experience a variety of mental health problems.
For example, sleep deprivation can lead to mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. Depression is characterized by sadness, general worry and can lead to undesired kind of behaviour like drug and alcohol abuse as well as suicide if it is left untreated. When the brain is not functioning correctly, our welfare is affected in various ways.
Mental health is crucial in our lives since it determines the ways we act in different scenarios. Our mental state is also critical since it influences the way we make decisions and relate with other people in our respective societies. Therefore, sleep is essential, and you need to improve your sleep patterns to achieve lasting mental health by following the ten steps below.
10 Ways To Improve Your Sleep Patterns
1. Balance your fluid intake before bedtime
Before you go to bed, you must make sure that you drink enough water to avoid waking up feeling thirsty. You also need to avoid too much fluid before bedtime since these can only increase your trips to the bathroom to relieve yourself. The problem with excess or lack of fluid is that your sleep can be disrupted when you wake up at night. You may not be able to get sleep quickly, and this can affect your pattern of rest.
2. Eat food with roughage and starch
To improve your sleep pattern, you need to monitor the food you consume closely. It is recommended that you eat food with sufficient carbohydrates since these components help promote digestion. When this process takes place, you often feel, and you are in a position to fall into a deep sleep until the following morning when you wake up. Many people usually feel like taking a nap in the afternoon after consuming meals with high carbohydrate content.
3. Avoid sugary foods
Sugar gives you energy such that your mind remains active during the time you should be asleep. Therefore, you should avoid foods with high sugar content like cakes and other energy drinks since they energize your mind such that you remain awake during the time you should be resting. Sugar disrupts the release of a hormone called melatonin that regulates your sleep-wake clock. Instead, the mind is kept awake due to the energy components in foods with high sugar content.
4. Reduce caffeine intake before bedtime
Caffeine affects your sleep pattern since this is a stimulant that can keep you awake if you consume it before bedtime. You should try to avoid it at least four to six hours before you go to be. It is also important for you to avoid other things that contain caffeine like chocolate, cola, and tea. You also need to know that nicotine is not good before bedtime since it stimulates your mind such that it affects your sleep pattern. Alcohol is also not good for your sleep since it can lead you to fail to sleep late at night. At first, you may feel sleepy under the influence of alcohol, but you will wake up after a few hours, and it may take time to get sleep again.
5. Sleep in total darkness
According to this study, sleeping with a light at night affects your quality of sleep since it can disrupt it. The light somehow affects your sleep during the night, and you wake up so you should switch it off. The other issue is that light at night affects the secretion of melatonin, a regulatory sleep hormone. When the light is on, melatonin is not released, and your mind can keep awake. On the other hand, serotonin, another hormone that drives you to sleep is not released when the light is on. It is also imperative to keep the bedroom temperature cool so that you can get sleep. Avoid noise during bedtime and make sure that pets stay out of your room when you sleep.
6. Try to relax before sleep
The other important aspect that you should take into account is to avoid thinking about stressful issues when you go to bed. Stressful things psychologically affect your mind, and you would not be able to sleep peacefully. You may rather choose to read a book before you sleep since this helps to soothe your mind and you fall into a deep slumber then after. You should always try to make sure that your mind is relaxed when sleep time comes since an active mind cannot easily fall asleep.
7. Go to bed when you are tired
It is good for you to go to bed when you feel that you are tired enough such that you can easily fall asleep. Some people usually fail to get sleep simply because they go to bed when they are not yet ready for it. You can perform some light exercises before you go to bed since these help you to feel relaxed. If the mind remains in an active state, it may not be able to get the required rest for it to sleep for the recommended 6 to 7 hours of sleep.
8. Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is important since it also helps you to maintain consistency in your sleep patterns. If you are used to sleeping for six hours, try to maintain that time so that you do not wake up the following morning feeling sleepy. When you maintain a particular sleeping schedule, your body and mind become conditioned to that time such that it will not be tough for you to fall asleep. You also stand better chances of sleeping peacefully without any interruptions at night.
9. Avoid afternoon naps
Afternoon naps usually give you some rest period after a meal, but these should not exceed your sleep time at night. If possible, avoid afternoon naps since these negatively affect your sleep pattern at night. It may take you a long time to fall asleep at night due to the effects of afternoon siestas so you should try to avoid these. Regular sleeping time is usually reserved for the night, so if you rest during the day, you may experience problems at night to get sleep.
10. Avoid excessive fats and spices in your diet
Fats and spices are not good for your sleep patterns since they cause indigestion and can keep you awake. Indigestion makes you feel uncomfortable such that you may not be able to sleep peacefully. You spend a very long time awake and struggling to get sleep. The same applies to spices since they cause heartburn which in turn can keep you awake. Heartburn gives you this uncomfortable sensation such that it becomes difficult for you to get quality sleep at night.
Sleeping is right for your mental and physical health, but it can be affected by different factors. If you want to enjoy quality sleep, the above tips can help you to relax peacefully at night.