Do you ever have nights wherein you just can't seem to fall asleep? I've been having those nights since last Monday and it's taking a toll on my skin, sinus and weight. Yes, girls..in case you didn't know...lack of sleep causes us to 1. get more pimples 2. seem like we have a darker complexion 3. weaken our immune system (easier to catch colds and cough) and 4. gain weight (we tend to eat more when we're sleepy because our body unconsciously wants more food so it can have more energy).
So, it was such a coincidence that I saw an article in Yahoo which gives tips on what to do to make it easier for you to fall asleep. Reading it gave me an idea. I tried to come up with my own list of do's and don'ts to help you fall asleep. Most concepts are similar to that of Yahoo's but I included it in the list because I find it useful.
Wanna get a good night’s sleep? Then follow these tips:
- No caffeine after 7:00 P.M.
The guilty dog barks first. No caffeine after 7? Guess that means no more coffee-while-chatting-with-friends-after-dinner for me. But hey, I’m still up for the chatting-after-dinner part. It usually takes about 6 hours for the caffeine of half the amount of coffee you take to last in your body. So think about the other half left in your body. This also means that you may be able to fall asleep but according to experts, your body isn’t getting the benefits it can get during deep sleep.
- Avoid doing any kind of work that takes alert thinking AN HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME.
You can fold laundry or put your clothes in your closet or sort the mail but stay away from budgeting your cash for the month or planning next month’s out-of-town trip.
- Adjust your bedroom temperature to be slightly chilly.
- Keep your bedroom dark.
I am aware that others sleep with the lights on but did you know that studies show that even a digital alarm clock’s light can disrupt your sleep cycle by disrupting cell division (making you more prone to having cancer!). Somehow our biological clock and brain attribute darkness to a calm environment which helps our bodies to relax and regenerate.
- Slather lotion on if you’re having trouble sleeping.
I’m not sure why but slathering lotion relaxes me and makes me feel sleepy.
- Gently stretch
Your whole body (once, twice or as much as you’d like) or your toes up and down (for several times). I love how stretching helps me relax. When I’m tired at work, I impulsively stretch my arms while preparing to yawn loudly, only to realize that I’m IN THE OFFICE. Also, I try to stretch my whole body (yes, from fingertips to toes) whenever I can’t sleep. Stretching relieves stress and in turn, induces sleep. It helps you feel less stressed by increasing the flow of oxygen in your body.
- Just keep yawning!
- Imagine that you need to get up already.
The thought of being rudely awakened by your alarm, the act of having to turn it off, the feeling of dragging yourself out of your bed and into the shower is actually an exhausting prospect. But that’s also why it works. Knowing that you have to do it soon makes you want to sleep early to get the most out of the night.
- Take a warm bath.
Remember that you should take a warm bath, not a quick cold shower. You know how spas give you warm baths to relax you instead of cold showers? The same concept applies here.
- Keep a small jotter and pen beside your bed.
Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because there are a lot of things running in my mind. To clear my head, I usually write down my thoughts or the things I want to remember. What’s great about this technique is that I get to remember the bouts of ideas that came to me the night before because I’ve already noted it down.
I hope these tips help you get to dreamland faster. May you also notice clearer, fairer skin and a slimmer, healthier physique. Happy snoozing!