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5 Practical Tips to a More Restful Sleep


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Don’t you love it when you close your eyes and fall asleep immediately after your head touches the pillow? Or who doesn’t like to have pleasant dreams without interruptions to wake up feeling totally refreshed and energized? Think about it. If we spend around one third of our lives sleeping, that means that an average person with a life span of 75 years, devotes about 25 years to sleep. So, shouldn’t we aim to make such important activity this enjoyable every day?

However, as Arianna Huffington (author of The Sleep Revolution and Editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post) explains in an interview with Fast Company, “The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity, but in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we’re sleep deprived”. The reality is that as much as someone tries to avoid sleeping time, most of us need 8 hours of good sleep to be truly efficient and a bad night could really have a negative impact on how the day ahead unravels.

That’s why I’m sharing 5 tips that I’ve personally found helpful to avoid these annoyances from disturbing our dreams and try to make good use of every single minute of our sleeping time:


1 Stay away from ‘intense’ TV shows before bed


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I know there are people who use TV to lull them to sleep. If that’s the case for you, I don’t pretend that you change this habit just because you read it in this article, but you could definitely choose wisely what type of content you watch before closing your eyes.

Die-hard fans of these kind of thrilling series will not stop watching any episode just for sleep’s sake, but there are ways to ease the inevitable agitation that they cause. Take a shower before you go to bed, watch a comedy series, a short web series, read a book, or find any other activity that unwinds you from the intense emotions and clears your mind a bit. Which leads me to the next tip…


2 Light yoga or meditation at night


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If it is not something on TV which causes you stress before sleeping, your busy life might be enough. Our jobs could not only alter our mind peacefulness with constant thoughts about the tasks that need to be done, but our bodies can also get stiff after sitting for long hours or being tense due to the daily grind. The good news is that a brief yoga session at night could help with both.

Even if you’re not a yoga advocate, there are simple yoga poses that relieve tension in your shoulders and spine, such as an Easy Forward Bend or Child’s Pose. During your practice, you could also experiment with some breathing exercises; and if you want to completely empty your mind, you could try a few minutes of meditation. Just don’t do very intense sessions, or your heart rate will be too high, making it harder to relax in bed.


3 Ambient music


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I’ve found out that this kind of music not only reduces the outside noise, but it helps to lower the mental noise as well. It’s relaxing and gives you a nicer alternative to lull you to sleep than the TV. More specifically, I recommend the album Long Ambients1: Calm. Sleep. by Moby, which he shared for free earlier this year.


4 Drink just enough water


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There is a common belief that you should not drink water before sleeping, and while it is true that the need to go to the bathroom could disrupt your dreams, it’s also true that dehydration at night could cause severe discomfort and insomnia. According to Simple Organic Life, drinking water before sleeping helps our body to liberate toxins, avoid muscle cramps and feel fresh in case the weather is too hot. And if you suffer from nasal congestion, proper hydration keeps the mucus thin and loose to breathe perfectly while you sleep.

I’d recommend to drink just one glass of water about 30 minutes before going to bed and learn to know your body from there. If it makes you go to the bathroom, drink just half a glass or do it a bit earlier.


5 Do not watch the clock in the middle of the night


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Lastly, even if we follow every single advice to sleep better, inevitably there will be times when we wake up in the middle of the night. When this happens to me, my hope is that it is still early so I can remain in bed longer. Thus, it is only tempting to watch the clock to check how many hours are left till I have to wake up. But in my experience, this generally leads to bad news and I end up turning the screen of my phone on just to realize that there is not much time left.

This leads to some sort of anxiety that doesn’t let me enjoy whatever is left. Whether it’s 20 minutes or 2 hours, in my mind I know that it will soon be over, making it hard to fall asleep again. That’s why I highly recommend to not check the time by any means; if you wake up, just relax, imagine that there’s plenty of time and let your alarm ring whenever it has to.

5 Practical Tips to a More Restful Sleep

Alberto G. Güitrón is a contributing writer to BookYogaTeacherTraining.com. He is a journalist, committed yogi and meditation enthusiast. Equally passionate about blue ink and inversions poses. Author of the fiction novel “El Sueño de Unos

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