The Ultimate Guide to a Proper Sleep Pattern

Have you been struggling to achieve a regular sleep hygiene? If that is the case, you are not alone. With the popularity of electronic devices ranging from smartphones to computers, getting enough sleep every night is becoming a challenge for most of us.

Then again, there is good news. You can still normalize your sleep pattern. Just read on and gear up for better bedtime routines!

The Importance of a Regular Sleep Routine

A regular sleep routine is absolutely crucial for a healthier lifestyle. Of course, there is nothing worse than hitting that snooze button over and over until you are forced to get up since you are running late for school or work.

To easily get your way into the day, try setting your alarm at least thirty minutes prior to the time you need to get up. That way, you can have time to compose yourself and your thoughts. But if that does not work for you, consider investing in a specialized alarm clock that features a gradually increasing sound and light to wake you slowly. It’s a more natural way to get up!

In addition to that, it is also important to have a regular bedtime at night. Observing varied bedtimes is one of the wrong things you do to train your brain to sleep. Always make sure you have a regular sleep schedule to properly regulate your body’s Circadian rhythm.

Managing Screen Time

When it comes to getting enough sleep, devices are your primary enemies. Come to think of it. With the hundreds and thousands of channels out there, it is no surprise that you get tempted to watch, regardless of the time. On a similar note, with the popularity of mobile applications like Facebook, we never miss a day without logging on our smartphones.

The best way to say no to these temptations is to switch off all your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. According to studies, the use of such devices may affect your body’s production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. When your melatonin level is disrupted, you might feel preoccupied, preventing you from getting the right sleep.

Creating a Calm Environment

The brain is a very sensitive organ. Believe it or not, even the simplest things around you can keep it from shutting down for the night. That explains why some people turn off their bedroom lights whenever they go to bed.

But then again, it’s not only the bedroom lights that distract your brain. There are some people who can’t sleep with a noisy environment. One loud snore and they may end up not getting rested for a night. Although anti-snoring devices can temporarily solve the problem, others prefer to just play white noise, such as the sound of rainfall or birds chirping.

Moreover, the room temperature also has an effect to a person’s sleeping habits. While some prefer to be in a warm bedroom, others want a colder one so that they can stay underneath their duvets. So regardless of your preference, be sure to consider controlling the temperature every time you go to sleep.

What to Eat (and Not to Eat) Prior to Bedtime

This is something not everyone knows. The food we eat has an effect on our sleeping patterns.

What to Eat

  • Bananas – These yellow fruits are undeniably healthy. They are rich in magnesium and potassium, which, when combined with carbohydrates, can effectively promote sleep.
  • Milk – When you were young, you might have been told by your parents to drink a glass of milk before sleeping. Well, there’s a reason behind it. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid needed by the brain to produce serotonin. Experts suggest that both tryptophan and serotonin contributes to a better sleep.
  • Cherries – If you are looking for natural foods that contain melatonin, a chemical that regulates our body’s internal clock, then cherries are what you need. Have a handful of them hours prior to bedtime!

What NOT to Eat

Here are some foods you should avoid before sleeping:

  • Dark Chocolate – We are often used to having dark chocolates as a midnight snack. But did you know that it can disrupt your sleep patterns? That is because it contains caffeine that increases heart rate, which results in sleeplessness.
  • Coffee – Like dark chocolates, coffee contains caffeine, a major stimulant for our body’s central nervous system. To be able to sleep on time, be sure you avoid drinking coffee at least six hours before sleeping.
  • Spicy Foods – Surprisingly, spicy foods can contribute to having a restless sleep. That is because they have heart-burn inducing properties that make you feel uncomfortable. Therefore, if you wish to sleep well, avoid dishes that have mustard or hot sauces.

Yes, you can simply get away with just 5 hours of sleep. But in the end, you don’t want to pay the price for sleep deprivation. So, if you are not getting the right amount of sleep every night, ideally 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, it is about time that you consider the tips we shared in this guide.

Author bio: Charles Crawford is regular contributor on lifehack.org. Charles is co-founder for Zensleep and Keeva Organics. Follow him on twitter!