Do you wake up feeling more tired than you were when you got into bed? Do you wake up with headaches, toothaches, a sore face or sore neck and shoulders? This piece is all about how to sleep deeper, longer and without interruption.
- Invest in a good mattress; the benefits you gain from better sleep will be worth it.
- Make sure you are able to breathe well when you sleep – ventilate your room or use a dehumidifier if necessary. If your nose is blocked, squirting a nasal spray twice in each nostril before you sleep will help to clear your nostrils.
- The temperature of your room obviously affects your sleep quality; make sure that you are neither too hot nor too cold by investing in a fan, heater or good blankets. On cold nights, try wearing a pair of socks. Because of all the surface veins, your feet are more sensitive to temperature than, say, your calves. If your feet are comfortable then you will find you sleep much better.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar in the three or four hours before bed.
- Set yourself a bed-time – your body will get to know it, and you will find it easier to fall asleep and wake up at routine times.
- Ensure the amount of light you are exposed to at night is not intrusive to your sleep. Some people like a nightlight, some people prefer absolute darkness, so work out which amount of light makes you feel the most comfortable.
- The above point applies to noise: Low-volume, regular background noise can be preferable to silence, depending on what you are used to. Sudden loud noises at random intervals are the noises that disturb sleep.
- Sleep in a position that makes bruxing difficult. Lying on your back, with your head level on the pillow or tilted back slightly should make it hard for your jaw to clench tightly.
- Keep your TV and computer in other rooms. Your bedroom should be for relaxing activities such as meditation, stretching, reading, sex and sleeping. That way, once you enter your bedroom for the evening, your mind won’t be occupied with work or that thrilling action movie, and associating your bedroom with relaxing activities will help you feel relaxed in there.
There are many soundtracks you can play at night to help you fall asleep. Everyone’s preferences are different, so we’ll list a few popular ones:
- The sound of rain
- The sound of waves on the beach
- Dolphin/whale song
- The sound of a fan
- Classical Indian music
- Binaural beats. Binaural beats are two slightly different tones, one played in each ear, so that the brain perceives a beat in the combined tones. Some people listen to this beat in order to relax (or to feel more energetic, depending on the frequencies of the tones). The method requires the listener to wear headphones.