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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

How to Sleep Through the Night and Get Good Rest

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How to Sleep Through the Night and Get Good Rest

“Healthy sleep is an essential part of our life as regular exercise and healthy diet”

. A good sleep directly affects our mental and physical health and also linked to better cognitive function, lower rates of inflammation and heart disease. It is also directly related to daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Contrary, people having poor sleep at night may have a higher risk of heart disease. It may also cause depression, confusion in day activities, anxiety and even memory loss.

Poor sleep may also lead to weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children. Much research also shows that poor sleep has instant negative effects on your hormones, exercise performances, and brain functions. Many people are facing sleeping disorders in the world and some of them even know about that. Also, many of us regularly toss and turn at night, struggling to get the sleep we need.

There are all kinds of things that can disrupt your sleep like your daily schedule, your working hours, certain medications, an uncomfortable sleep environment, or changes to your normal sleep schedule (like jet lag or a different work schedule) can make it harder to nod off, too.

Why Do I Keep Waking up at Night?

If you keep waking up at night, it could be caused by various things. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

1. Sleep Apnea

It is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. This is a common reason for waking in the middle of the night. It causes shallow breathing, which may cause a person to wake up several times per night. Some people are not even realized that their sleep is interrupted or break. A person who has sleep apnea may notice symptoms such as:

  • Headaches in the morning
  • Gasping for air at night
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Snoring
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
Treatment and Remedies

If sleep apnea is a cause or likely to cause frequently waking up in the middle of the night, a healthcare provider/doctor will probably refer the person to a sleep center. They may also advise or recommend a treatment plan to address sleep apnea.

Best treatment options available are undergoing surgery, using airway pressure devices, or trying oral appliances that help open the airways.

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2. Insomnia

It means a condition wherein a person finds it difficult or impossible to fall or stay asleep or Waking up in the middle of the night is called insomnia, and it’s a common problem. People who have insomnia don’t feel as if they get enough sleep at night. It may have many possible causes like-stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, daytime tiredness, etc.

Its symptoms include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Frequent wake-ups during the night
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
Treatment and Remedies
  • Start doing meditation or yoga
  • Do not eat heavy or spicy meals before bed
  • Doing regular exercise
  • Do not nap during the day
  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep

3. Anxiety, Stress, Depression, or Worry

These can cause insomnia. Yes, it is so true that insomnia can cause because of these conditions. Both anxiety and depression makes it difficult for a person to calm their mind or shut down their thinking processes. This can make it hard for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Treatment and Remedies

People suffering from these conditions should consult with their health care providers or doctors. Home remedies or techniques for anxiety and depression are:

  • Playing/listening to soft songs or calm music.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing the number of tasks to do
  • Meditating
  • Creating a calming environment in the bedroom

4. Consuming Caffeine Late in the Day

Caffeine is a tonic that can make it harder to fall asleep. A single dosage can increase focus, energy and sports performance.

However, when consumed late in the day, coffee stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. So stop consuming more caffeine in a day to get better and calm sleep at night.

5. Your Exposure to Light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain produces more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more conscious.

Exposure to bright lights just before bed might affect your quality and quantity of sleep. So turn off all mobile screen lights before bed and avoid all artificial lights before bed, it helps you fall asleep at night.

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6. Indigestion

Eating some spicy food, junk food or unhealthy food just around bedtime can also create sleep issues. Indigestion causes uncomfortable bloating and gas make it difficult to fall asleep at night and even and it may wake someone up in the middle of the night.

To avoid the indigestion problem,  eat healthy and light food at night. If you want to eat heavy or spicy food, do it earlier in the day and not before or around bedtime. This may help you to have good sleep at night.

7. Your Bedroom/Sleep Environment

One of the possible reasons that you are not getting enough sleep is that your bedroom environment is not properly optimized. Factors include the temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement, etc.

You can improve the sleep environment by doing these:

  • Minimize disturbing or external noises
  • Keep it dark and cool
  • Ban work from the bedroom
  • Reduce light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks
  • Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place
  • Don’t overheat your bedroom temperature

How Do I Stay Asleep Through the Night?

To stay asleep through the night and get some good rest, start trying these:

1. Take a Warm Bath

Just before or around bedtime, take a warm bath, it helps to drop down the body temperature and may help you to feel tired. It can also help you to relax and calm and slow down, so, you are ready to go to bed. Studies show that they can improve overall sleep quality and helped people get more deep sleep.

2. Make a Habit of Regular Exercise or Can Do Meditation or Yoga

If you are spending your whole day watching TV, playing games on mobile phones or tablets, etc, it can make you lazy and inactive. And this usually makes it pretty difficult to fall asleep at night.

Active people tend to get better sleep at night.[1] Hence, by exercising or doing yoga, you can reduce stress and anxiety—which in itself might help increase sleep time by more than 20%.

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Don’t do exercise just before bedtime though, it could affect sleep.

3. Eat Healthy Foods to Promote Sleep

Make a habit of eating healthy foods and fruits and avoid eating spicy food, junk food.

To help you sleep better, you can eat these:

  • Cherries
  • Bananas
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Toast
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Spinach

4. Improve Your Sleep Environment

As mentioned in the last section, a peaceful and good sleep environment sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses.

Make sure your room temperature is not too cold or hot as it affects your sleep too.

To get good quality sleep, do these things:

  • Keep your room cool
  • Keep noise down
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable
  • Reduce all external noises like traffic noise, etc.

5. Create a Bedtime Routine

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps to fall asleep quicker. And to bring that feeling of sleepiness, it helps to have a quiet bedtime routine.

Bedtime routines have two serve purposes: it is meant to be relaxing and calming, not so exciting, and it helps to form a behavioral association and gives signals to the brain to feel you sleepy.

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Here’s How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier.

6. Take Time to Relax and Calm Your Body

Take a deep breath before going to bed, calm and relax your body. It helps to reduce all-day stress and calm down your mind which may make you fall asleep fast. If you watch TV around bedtime or use mobile phones, switch it off for some time and calm yourself down before going to bed.

7. Rule Out a Sleep Disorder

An underlying health condition may be the cause of your sleep problems. One of the causes is sleep apnea which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing, and disturbs your sleep at night. People with this disorder stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. If you any have symptoms of this disorder, you must consult a doctor immediately.

The Bottom Line

Sleep plays a crucial part in your health. Conserving energy, healing the body, consolidating memories, and regulating emotions are some of the key reasons why we sleep. Studies say that due to inadequate sleep, obesity risk is increased in children by 89% and in adults by 55%.[2] Other research concludes that sleeping less than 6 hours per night enhances your risk of developing heart disease.[3]

So besides nutrition and exercise, sleep is a major pillar of overall health and well being, and you should take steps to ensure that you always get a good night’s sleep.

More Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

More by this author

Bijal Panchal

Brand Planning: Managing Sleep Diagnostic, Sleep Therapy & Reusable Mask Portfolio

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Published on December 1, 2021

How To Stay Motivated For Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes

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How To Stay Motivated For Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes

What makes up a healthy lifestyle? If striving to live a healthy lifestyle is a top priority, motivation is vital to making healthy lifestyle changes, but it may not be enough.

It’s 9:30 pm. Everything is ready for a 5 am wake-up call to hit the gym. The excitement and motivation are high, and waking up when it’s still dark seems like a piece of cake. Until the alarm goes off, then all the planning and motivation suddenly feels like a thing of the past. The second buzzer strikes, and there is no movement to get up and follow through on the plan. Staying underneath the warm blankets and laying comfortable in bed is more pleasurable than baring the cold and slothing through another 45 minutes on an elliptical. Sounds familiar?

Motivation Is Fleeting

Why is motivation so high during times of excitement but dwindles as the excitement wears off? Because motivation is a fleeting feeling and a short-lived intention, not a permanent solution to staying in action and maintaining sustainable health. We need the motivation to get us started and keep doing the vital things to live a life of joy and happiness, but it requires a deeper approach to keep us in action in the long run. I only realized this with my motivation and the countless clients I have worked with over the last 20 years.

After the excitement of what you want to accomplish or acquire wears off, other elements must come into play to encourage you to keep going no matter what. Otherwise, two main factors—life challenges and fear—will stop you dead in your tracks.

Life is full, so when challenged, it is easier to succumb to one excuse after another instead of leaning in and reminding yourself why it is crucial to keep going. The first step to keeping the excitement and motivation high is to get clear on what you want. What brings you joy? And what will not only motivate you but also give you the discipline to follow through regardless of life’s ups and downs or setbacks?

Fear Is a Primal Instinct

Fear is a primal instinct that not only keeps us alive in times of danger but can also motivate us to take action. There are many types of fear: fear of success, failure, the unknown, disease, rejection, ridicule, and the list goes on. On the flip side, fear also has the power to paralyze and prevent forward movement. It is natural to return to our comfort zones during distress or when scared and unsure of the next move.

The mind can have a firm pull over our decision, but it is essential to examine whether the fear is real or a false event that appears real and remove any doubt from the equation. Using fear as a motivator can positively affect, but only if you decide to change the outcome. Take a moment to reframe how you want the result to be, then plan possible solutions for the outcome.

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Here are 10 strategies to stay motivated that I’ve used to encourage forward progress, especially after the excitement wears off or when faced with challenges and crippling fear.

1. The Circle of Life Exercise

Joshua Rosenthal, founder and teacher at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, developed this life-changing exercise, called the circle of life, based on his concept of primary and secondary foods. The 12 Primary “foods” or areas that make up our lives are Spirituality, Joy, Social Life, Relationships, Home Environment, Home Cooking, Physical Activity, Health, Education, Career, Finances, and Creativity. Secondary “foods” are the physical foods on your plate.[1]

    The circle helps you identify each area out of harmony and which offers the most joy right now. If any of the areas are out of balance, the foods you eat could be directly affected by the imbalance. There is a greater chance to make healthier choices or stay committed to a healthier routine when you feel good about the primary foods in your life.

    For example, say you have a bad day at work. Instead of your preplanned gym routine to work off a bit of steam, your friends invite you for drinks. You politely accept, thinking it is a better alternative. One drink turns to two, and now you are ordering a burger and fries, thinking it will make you feel better. Unfortunately, the feeling is short-lived, and you end up feeling remorse and frustration having veered away from your original plan.

    Another example is the lack of preparation for the week. There is a much greater chance for take-out and convenience foods if you haven’t gone grocery shopping or planned your meals. When this primary “food,” Home Cooking, is out of balance, turning to foods that offer less nutritional value derail your home-cooked efforts. If your goal is to lose weight and there is no preparation or advanced planning, excuses take over, and motivation for making healthy choices goes down.

    Go through the exercise and identify which areas bring you joy and which could use an upgrade to bring you back in harmony. Note that life will always have its share of ups and downs, but the important lesson is to learn, grow, and rewrite the old story. You are the author of your health.

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    2. Focus on Adding Health

    Our diet culture bombards us with messages of deprivation, saying that removing one food group after another is the “best” and “only” way to lose weight and be healthy. And we have been conditioned to think that the slightest indulgence will ruin our long-term efforts.

    Instead of focusing on deprivation and guilt, focus on cleaner selections and adding health. For every indulgence, add something that offers the highest nutritional benefit, like cut-up fruit or veggies for your next snack. If you sit all day, walk or run around your block or crank up the music and dance in your living room. Had a tough day? Phone a good friend and talk it out or take 10 minutes to breathe or hit the gym.

    When you continue to add health, it is less about deprivation and more about selection. The foods you thought were forbidden and the amounts you were consuming, over time, with consistent effort, become foods and quantities you no longer desire. Your body is nourished and turns to foods and activities that offer a greater sense of joy and satisfaction.

    3. Think About Short-Term Wins

    Want to write a book or run a marathon? The result can feel daunting and crippling if you are staring at an empty page or get winded just walking up a flight of stairs. Focus on the short-term wins. Begin with a word dump and a 10-minute walk as a starting point.

    Long-term goals are great to offer a plan and purpose for your life, but they can also feel rigid and make us stressed and overwhelmed thinking of the process it will take to reach it. Instead, focus on a single task or daily goal. Once you accomplish that goal, celebrate it. Ultimately, you will get to the top, and there will be wins and learns along the way.

    4. Commit to Yourself

    Inky Johnson said, “Commitment happens long after the time we’ve said it has passed.” Committing to a healthy lifestyle takes discipline and consistency. Decide you are worth moving and feeling better in your body and be sure to have a plan of action.

    There will be setbacks, and you won’t always feel like going to the gym or reviewing the menu before heading to the restaurant. But each small action step you commit to will have a cumulative effect, and over time, the long-term goal that seemed impossible to reach will begin to feel like second nature.

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    5. Remove Yourself From Autopilot

    If our approach to living a healthy lifestyle is too rigid or requires a lot of deprivation, the excitement won’t last, and you will find yourself constantly starting over again on Monday. Break up with that cycle and begin to bring joy and inspiration into the healthy equation—experiment with a new recipe, take a dance class instead of your regular group exercise class, walk or run a different route. Changing your routine and removing yourself from autopilot will feel like you are starting something new and fresh, which may be just what you need to stay motivated for the long hall.

    6. Schedule in Rest

    Rest alone is more than adding extra sleep time. It is also resting from other areas in your life that cause stress and overwhelm: being on SM, sending emails right before bed, or pushing seven days a week at the gym. Scheduled rest allows you to hit the refresh button, so you return to each task with a great sense of focus and clarity.

    7. Get Support

    Getting motivated can be difficult if you live with a partner who isn’t motivated at all. If this is the case, surround yourself with others who are like-minded or hire a trained wellness professional to hold you accountable. Tell others about your goal. The more you speak about it, the greater your excitement builds, and others will be there to hold you accountable.

    It is easy to give in when something better comes along. But when you tell others your goal or intentions for meeting that goal, the stakes are higher, and you won’t want to let them down.

    8. Set Healthy Boundaries

    Saying “no” is hard, especially if you feel an overwhelming obligation and responsibility for everyone else’s care. Feeling overwhelmed can wreak havoc on your priorities. Only take on what you can control, and be sure to say “no” to things that don’t bring you joy or take more energy from you. Taking care of yourself first isn’t selfish, and it doesn’t mean “me first.” It means “me too.”

    9. Make a “To-Don’t” List

    Yes, you read that correctly. A “to-don’t” list is one you make of tasks you will no longer do to help you stay more focused and clear on the areas that are important to you. These items on the list are things you will now delegate or outsource.

    We often spend too much time on something that could be completed faster by someone who has more experience or enjoys performing. Make your “to-don’t” list and watch the stress subside.

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    10. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts Into Positive Feelings and Actions

    There is a comfort to automatically return to your default behaviors when things are not going right. But what if you reframed the thoughts to create new positive behaviors that offer a different, more optimistic outcome?

    Setbacks are a normal part of the process when we are changing habits and creating a healthy lifestyle. Instead of throwing in the towel, keep it simple and focus on small changes to help you stick with it for the long term, not just the temporary outcome. Reflect on what caused the setback, and plan for a different result the next time life throws you a curveball.

    Final Thoughts

    When excitement and inspiration are at their peak, motivation is enough to get you going. When it begins to wear off, other factors must come into play to offer a permanent solution. Once you evaluate and learn from factors that prevent you from moving forward on things you desire, not only will you be motivated but also committed to the result.

    Have a plan, stay consistent, and the rest will take care of itself—rely on taking action today, not tomorrow, even if it is a tiny step. Remember, yesterday, you said today.

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    Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Institute for Integrative Nutrition: Circle of Life Exercise

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