If sleep is eluding you, or you’re suffering from insomnia, it’s important to take whatever measures you can to improve the number of hours you’re sleeping and the quality of sleep you’re achieving. The best ways to sleep better include making slight adjustments to your bedtime routine and your activities throughout the day. In this article you will learn 7 tips to overcome insomnia and to sleep better at night.
1. Tips To Sleep Better : Bedroom Environment
Create a sleep-splendid space in your bedroom. Remove any televisions, gaming systems, computers or other electronics from that room, and make it a space that invites rest. Keep the room cool, ideally between 60 and 67 degrees. There shouldn’t be any distracting noise. White noise or background noise such as a fan or a water element can be helpful.
Check your lighting. You want total darkness when you’re trying to sleep, so hang some curtains at any windows or doors where light might leak in. The end result should be an oasis of calm.
You may need to make some adjustments to your bed. Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and clean. If you’ve been sleeping in the same bed for 10 years or more, it might be time to invest in a new and more supportive mattress. There are a number of them on the market designed to help consumers sleep better.
2. Tips To Sleep Better : Bedtime Rituals
You can improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep by establishing and sticking to a regular routine. Even if you consider yourself impulsive and spontaneous, your body appreciates a routine and responds to it. Set up a bedtime schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every night, even on the weekends or when you don’t have to work or get up early. This will set your internal clock and help you get into a pattern of sleeping at regular times.
Train your body to know it’s bedtime. Take a warm bath or shower, or do something specific that separates your awake activities to your bedtime activities. Read a book for a little while, sip some chamomile tea or listen to some relaxing music. Establishing these rituals will help you transition into sleep.
3. Tips To Sleep Better : Meditation And Yoga
Part of your bedtime routine might include yoga or meditation. These types of practices can relax your mind and bring it into sync with your body. A simple yoga pose you can practice before bed is called the flat leg raise. You simply have to lie on the floor, with your back pressed flat against it. Bend one knee and extend the other leg. Slowly raise the straightened leg up into the air until it’s at a 90 degree angle with your body. Slowly lower it back down to the ground. Do this 10 times with each leg, and your mind will get quiet, your back and neck muscles will begin to relax, and you’ll be ready to go to sleep.
Meditation does not have to be complicated. Once you are settled comfortably into your bed, practice abdominal breathing and meditating. When you focus on that breathing, you’re helping to relax both your body and your mind, preparing you to sleep better. Place your hands on your stomach and take deep breaths in through your nose. As you exhale, focus your mind on that breath coming out of your mouth. When you focus on this, you take your mind off thoughts that might distract you from rest and keep you awake. It might help to imagine a peaceful place while you are breathing. Visualize a calm lake or a shady mountaintop and place yourself there in your mind.
4. Tips To Sleep Better: Exercise
One of the best ways to sleep better is to ensure you are physically exhausted by the end of the day. Get some exercise and your body will be ready for sleep when it’s time. Vigorous exercise that increases your cardiovascular activity is the best way to wear yourself out, but even light exercise will get you physically tired before bed time. Do whatever you can to incorporate physical activity into your day.
If you have limitations, do something simple like a 30 minute walk or a gentle swim. Whatever you can do to give yourself a flash of physical activity while you’re awake will help you later on in the evening.
5. Foods For Sleep
Pay attention to your diet. What you eat can have an impact on your ability to sleep comfortably. It’s important to avoid heavy foods and large meals before bedtime. There are some foods that have ingredients that will help you sleep. Try these:
- Almonds : They are packed with tryptophan and magnesium, which are known sleep agents. They are good at relaxing your muscle and nerve functions and helping your heart slow down.
- Honey : If you’re going to relax with some bedtime tea, stir a teaspoon of honey into it. It tells your brain to be less alert, which will help you shut down and turn in.
- Dark Chocolate : It seems impossible, especially since milk chocolate is a stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains serotonin, which calms both your body and your mind.
- Bananas : The potassium in this fruit will relax your muscles and your nerves. The nutrients in bananas are also turned into serotonin by your body, helping you stay calm and ready to sleep.
- Turkey : You probably thought that Thanksgiving nap was a product of too much pie, but turkey has tryptophan, which is then processed into serotonin and melatonin by your body.
6. Daily Behaviors
When you’re trying to sleep better through the night, there are a few things you can do during the day to ensure you’re giving yourself a good chance of a full night’s rest. For starters, avoid naps. You might be fond of your mid-afternoon siesta, but sleeping in the afternoon can increase the chances that your body will stay up later. Eliminate any other sleeping during the day and save it for the nighttime.
Get all your work done early in the day. The last hour or two before sleep should be reserved for winding down. This means no laptops, no texting on your phone and no catching up on emails.
Try not to drink and smoke. Alcohol, even consumed during the day, can mess up your body’s rhythms and schedule. You don’t want to work hard training your body to sleep and then be unable to get your rest because of the wine you had with dinner.
7. Lighting And Circadian Rhythms
Keep all bright lights out of your bedroom, especially in the evening. When you wake up in the morning, get as much light as you can. It’s especially beneficial to expose yourself to direct sunlight. This helps to balance your circadian rhythms, which directly impact your ability to sleep. Your internal clock is programmed to respond to darkness and light.
These are some of the best ways to sleep better, and remember that it might take you some time to train yourself. Do what you can to establish a sleep schedule, make your bedroom and bed an inviting and conducive place to get rest, and watch what you do during the day. You’ll notice the benefits of getting better sleep almost immediately.