Everyone knows what sleep is, I mean it’s part of our everyday needs. So why would I make a post on it?

Just like all my other post this post may not be for everyone, but it’s great for those who find themselves having restless nights. I am going to touch upon a couple of topics about sleep. I will speak about insomnia, naps, alarms, and different sleeping positions.

Insomnia

Insomnia is when someone struggles with falling or staying asleep. This affects 30+% of the population so if you fall in this category, know that you are not alone. What you must learn to focus on is getting yourself to fall asleep naturally and develop healthy sleeping habits. Below I will give you some tips that will help you get a good night’s rest.

  • Set up a sleep schedule so that you fall asleep and wake up around the same time. Set a 30 minute through an hour time frame for each
  • Get somewhere between six and a half through seven and a half hours of sleep
  • Drink a glass of warm milk before bedtime or eat cherries (contain melatonin)
  • Take a melatonin pill, which is known to be a great sleeping aid
  • Exercise in the morning, this will get you energized for the day and leave you tired for the night
  • Make sure your room is dark
  • Noise is not as important, but do your best to limit it

Master The Art of Napping

My couch is my go to when I need a short break. There is just something about couches that knock me out instantly, especially if they recline… Yup, those are the best. Below is a picture of everything you need to know to master the art of napping, which will leave you energized and improve your mood to take on the remainder of the day.

napping-infographic

Setting an Alarm Clock

This is something that I use to have trouble with until I learned the secret of setting only one alarm and waking up on the spot. My problem with alarm clocks is that there is a snooze button. That button is so tempting to click I mean why wouldn’t I want another five minutes of sleep. The truth of the matter is that those snoozes are not helping anyone out. Those extra minutes of sleep may seem nice and you may feel as if you need a couple alarms to wake up, but it is actually confusing your brain chemistry as it switches from releasing serotonin (going to sleep) and dopamine (waking up).

My advice is if you set up ten alarms, limit it to nine and then to eight etc. take baby steps until you are setting only one alarm. That way you feel a pressure to wake up at the exact time you need, and you do not have to play yourself into thinking that you are getting extra sleep through snoozes because in reality what you are doing is anticipating an alarm to come, and those five minutes are not sufficient enough to provide you with any benefits. And remember avoid the snooze button!

Sleeping Positions

This is probably the topic of sleep I am most familiar with because I have studied it in great detail. I use to sleep on my stomach, in fact I had nightmares that if I slept on my back someone would come and slice my neck (maybe I should see a psychologist). Anyway that fear is long gone, and it taught me about the importance of sleeping on my back.

The order of best sleeping positions goes from lying on you back (best), on your sides, and on your stomach (worst). About 1/3 of our lives are spent sleeping so it is important to get accustomed to sleeping in the best position so that we can optimize your health.

Sleeping on your back is great for your posture especially for your neck and spine, while sleeping on your stomach is terrible for your neck and spine as it weakens the natural curvatures of our body. And if you are sleeping on your sides I would say balance sleeping on both sides, but if you had to pick a side where you spent the majority of your time pick the left side. There are studies that show several benefits to it. Sleeping on your left side decreases the chances of having a congested lymphatic system and also facilitates the passage of your waste, while sleeping on your right side might have opposite effects.

Below are some tips for those who find sleeping on their back to be uncomfortable

  • Go to bed lying on your back (do your best to sleep throughout the night like this, but if you get uncomfortable go to your normal position. Every night try to last longer.)
  • Listen to soothing music (meditation music for relaxation on YouTube works) to get your mind from thinking about this position being uncomfortable
  • Sleep on the couch. This may work for some of you since you have not developed any sleeping habits on your couch so you will be able to create a new one of sleeping on your back.
  • Place pillows around you
    • Put pillows on your sides to create barriers so that you do not feel the need to toss around
    • Put a pillow under your knees, this will reduce stress on your spine and support your lower back
    • Use a nice puffy one that will keep your head up to support your neck, but not too high

“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep so a life well spent brings happy death” – Leonardo Da Vinci