Some of us who spend seven hours sleeping daily and yet feel lousy the next day can attest to feeling grumpier and more frustrated at work or school. It’s not only the number of hours you sleep, but the quality of your sleep also matters in contributing to your physical and mental well-being. Here are some ways you can have better quality sleep.
- Know the pros and cons of different sleeping positions
The back position is said to be the most ideal as it prevents neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux, minimises wrinkles, and maintains perky breasts. The worst position to sleep in is on your stomach. Although it might ease snoring, it is terrible for everything else mentioned above.
- Get a good pillow
For people who sleep on their backs, one puffy pillow is ideal. The goal is to keep your head and neck supported without propping your head up too much. For those who sleep on your side, a thick pillow will allow you to fill the space above your shoulder so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position. A plump pillow is ideal for those who sleep in the foetal position – this gives support to your neck and head. Lastly, if you insist on sleeping on your stomach, use a really thin pillow. Or none at all.
- Don’t use your phone before you sleep
In fact, avoid any electronic device with bright screens one to two hours before you sleep. No emails, no texting, no Korean dramas – no matter how much you believe they help you sleep more restfully!
- Get regular exercise
Even light exercise such as walking can improve the quality of your sleep. More intense ones can actually help you sleep better too! However, it is important to not exercise too close to bed time – exercising speeds up your metabolism, elevates body temperature, and stimulates hormones such as cortisol and you don’t want to be wide awake so close to bedtime!
- Check your diet
No alcohol, no big meals and especially no caffeine before bed! Drinking too many liquids would also result in you going to the toilet frequently and that’s a no-no for a restful sleep. A light bedtime snack works for some people, while it gives others indigestion so monitor yourself carefully. A snack such as a banana can be helpful.
This article is an extension of an article found in the print edition of Singapore’s Child July Issue 177 with the headline ‘Fix Your Sleeping Position’.
What are some methods you’ve used to ensure you sleep well throughout the night? Share them with us!