As a modern Filipina, you’re probably a very busy woman. Balancing work, family, relationships, and hobbies is a lot of work – and as a result, sometimes our sleeping habits get the short end of the stick. Having a full night’s rest is important, though, for both your health, sanity, and beauty, so here’s some tips and habits you should start doing in order to get a good night’s rest.
1. Give yourself a bedtime.
Most of us haven’t had an actual bedtime since we were in our pre-teens. Did you know, though, that having a set time to fall asleep every night is super beneficial for you? By going to sleep at the same time every day, you establish a routine for your body and it’ll make it easier for you to fall asleep.
2. Do something relaxing right before bed.
This will differ depending on what you find relaxing, but research shows that activities such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a hot bath right before bed will really help a person to fall asleep. If you can, you should avoid anything that involves staring at a screen, though—TV, phone, etc.—as constantly looking at the bright lights will trick your mind into thinking it’s daytime.
3. Don’t drink coffee in the afternoon or evening.
We live in a coffee lover’s paradise, with tons of local and international coffee shops on every street. As tempting as they may be, there should be a cut-off time where you stop drinking it every day. This applies to all caffeinated drinks, not just coffee. Caffeine stays in your system for around 4 to 6 hours, so make sure that your last cup of coffee is at least 6 hours before your bedtime in order to ensure that it won’t interfere with your sleep.
4. Avoid alcohol before bed.
This one may confuse you a little because most people believe that alcohol helps you fall asleep. This can be true, but even if it helps you to fall asleep, it won’t help you stay asleep. Alcohol is a stimulant, and will often cause you to wake up multiple times during the night, preventing you from getting a restful sleep. Cocktails before or right after dinner are fine, but avoid drinking alcohol within 3 hours of your bedtime.
5. Drink a caffeine-free tea before bed.
Okay, you’ve already been told what not to drink for a restful night’s sleep, so let me give you tips on what you should drink! Look for an herbal, non-caffeinated tea to help soothe your mind and body and get you into the mood for sleep. Teas with valerian or chamomile are wonderful for promoting restful sleep.
6. Spend some time in the sun.
Our natural body clocks are trained to respond to light and sun intake to tell us if it’s time to be awake or time to sleep. By spending some time in the sun during the day, it helps keep our body clock on track, and also increases your melatonin levels which adds to a good sleep. A lot of people take melatonin supplements in order to fall asleep, this can be avoided by just 20 minutes in the sun!
7. Be careful with your napping habits.
Sometimes, a particularly un-restful night or strenuous day has us just too exhausted to make it to our bedtime. While naps can be good, it’s important to keep them in check, though. You should nap no later than mid-afternoon in order not to mess up your sleeping schedule. If a nap is necessary, try to keep it no longer than 30 minutes to one hour so you don’t throw yourself too out of whack.
8. Exercise during the day.
Exercising in either the morning or afternoon has proven to help people fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, so make sure to save some time to get your body moving (and yes, sex counts!). While exercise early in the day promotes a good rest, avoid doing it at night, however, as it will have the opposite effect.
9. Keep water by the bed.
One of the most common reasons people wake up in the night is because they are thirsty. If this happens to you a lot, in addition to drinking more water throughout the day, you can opt to keep a glass or bottle of water on your nightstand. This way, if you wake up, you don’t have to get out of bed and turn lights on in order to get a drink, disrupting your sleep even further.
10. If you’re still awake after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
Staying in bed when you aren’t sleepy is actually bad. You want your mind to associate the bed only with sleep, so if sleep isn’t finding you after 20 minutes or so, get up and do something relaxing elsewhere for a little while. Then, come back to bed and try again once the sleepy feeling returns to you.
No more excuses! It’s time to give yourself the peaceful rest that you deserve. Wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed, even if you haven’t for a long time!
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Abby is from the USA and moved to the Philippines to be with her husband, David Christopher Hizon, who also happens to be her photographer for most of her writing endeavors. A gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie, she is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that will come across in her writing. Follow her at http://facebook.com/WritersInTandem & http://www.thewritersintandem.wordpress.com