Getting a good night’s rest is essential to a healthy life. While you sleep, your body has a chance to reset and reboot. Your brain gets rid of waste products, your muscles relax and recover from the day’s exertions, and you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start a new day.
Some people, however, are either unable to fall asleep or find it hard to stay asleep for long. Many resort to the use of medication to help them sleep. For example, an estimated four percent of adults aged 20 or older in the United States use prescription drugs to aid sleep.
But the Lord has given you everything you need to enjoy life to the full, and that includes the ability to get a good night’s rest. Here are five things that can help you sleep better.
Be Anxious for Nothing
Anxiety is quite possibly the most common cause of sleep disturbances. It is also completely unnecessary. Anxiety does nothing to solve the problems; rather, it just creates new ones. Instead of worrying, pray with thanksgiving, making your requests known to your Heavenly Father (Philippians 4:6 CEV). The Word tells us that when you do this, “...the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Limit Your Screen Time
We live in a hyper-connected world of gadgets that give us unprecedented access to information and entertainment. With so much to attract our attention at the touch of a button or the swipe of a thumb, it’s easy to spend several hours looking at digital screens. Increased screen time harms the quality of sleep, especially for younger people. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, check how much time you spend on your laptop and mobile devices, and the TV. Consider putting your phone and laptop away at least one hour before bedtime, to allow the release of melatonin - the hormone that regulates sleep patterns and cycles.
Exercise and Stretching
Vigorous exercise can help with sleep. Exercise reduces the level of stress hormones and releases pent-up nervous energy, helping you relax. Exercising early in the morning is more effective than at any other time of the day. So, you can set apart 30 minutes every morning to exercise to prepare your body for better sleep at night. Performing stretches before bed is another great way to help your body relax. Try sideways stretches, backbends, hamstring stretches, and many more. Do the stretch routines slowly and don’t overextend yourself. Then, enjoy a great night’s rest afterward.
Listen to Music
Listening to music before bed markedly improves sleep hygiene (habits and patterns that affect sleep). Most people associate music with dance, but music also affects how fast you fall asleep and how relaxed your sleep is. It provides an ambiance that can cut away distracting noises like traffic on the streets and racket from the neighbors. You should note that your choice of music is important; loud music will inflame your emotions, so try something softer like classical music or jazz.
As much as possible, keep your bedroom cool and your clothing breathable and comfy. When you’re cool, your brain’s metabolism eases off and you can fall asleep faster, and you stay asleep for as long as you need to. If you live in the tropics and do not have air conditioning, you should keep your room well-ventilated and sleep in minimal clothing.