Don’t let your lack of sleep at night ruin your productivity the following day. According to MedicineNet, insomnia or difficulty sleeping is caused by various situational factors that can lead to behavioral problems such as poor concentration and mood changes, if you do not correct it. You can overcome sleeplessness and poor sleep quality by creating an environment that encourages sleep and by making lifestyle modifications that include exercising, avoiding stimulants and consuming sleep-inducing foods.
Turn Off Lights and Sounds
Bright lights inhibit melatonin production, a hormone that helps you to sleep. Switch off halogen and fluorescent lights in your bedroom, at least one hour before your bedtime, and turn on soft, 45-degree lamps. Turn-off all light and sound sources including laptops, TV’s and audio systems before bedtime. Fit dark colored window blinds and wear an eye mask to eliminate light from your bedroom. Use the low hum of a fan or an air-conditioner, or play soft classical music to mask sounds in your neighborhood that can disturb your sleep and keep you awake.
Improve the quality of your sleep by regularly exercising. Daily exercise will reduce your stress hormones and promote deep sleep. Perform moderate aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming or bicycling for at least 20 minutes each day. Consider exercising between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., as your body is at its optimal physical performance. Avoid exercising three hours before your bedtime, as the physical stimulation from the exercise can keep you awake, instead of inducing a good night’s sleep.
Consume Sleep-Inducing Foods
Eat foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep. Include tryptophan-rich food sources in your diet such as milk, cheese, bananas, nuts, seeds, eggs and honey. Have a light dinner and restrict your intake of protein and fatty foods, as these foods take longer to digest. Avoid spicy food, as it can give you indigestion and keep you awake at night. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but discontinue it by 8pm to prevent your sleep from being interrupted by frequent visits to the toilet.
Stimulants such as nicotine, alcohol and caffeine interfere with your sleep patterns. Do not consume products that contain caffeine including coffee, chocolate, colas, teas and over-the-counter medications. Tobacco products contain nicotine, which you should avoid using, especially at bedtime or if you wake up in the middle of the night. Gradually discontinue nicotine and caffeine products to minimize your withdrawal symptoms. Do not drink alcohol before bedtime, as it is a depressant that can help you fall asleep, but will prevent you from enjoying a restful sleep.