Many people today hardly remember the last time they had a goodnight’s sleep. Do you always find yourself tossing and turning for hours without falling asleep? While some types of medication may cause sleeplessness, your lifestyle might be the reason for sleepless nights. You can, however, get it all back by following several sleep hygiene tips and tricks. Here are a few tips on how.
- Have a sleep schedule: Make it a habit of going to bed, and waking up at the exact time each day. This includes weekends and public holidays. Doing this helps restore your body’s circadian rhythm, thus improving chances of falling asleep when you need to. You also should avoid sleeping in for too long, and especially during the weekends.
- Be careful with what you eat or drink: Some foods are known to promote sleep while others will do the exact opposite. Foods and beverages with stimulants them, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and even painkillers, should be avoided several hours to bedtime. While alcohol may help you sleep, the frequent trips to the bathroom will certainly make your sleep less than relaxing. Sleep experts advise against having a heavy meal just before bed or going to bed on an empty stomach.
- Have a bedtime ritual: Come up with a relaxing routine to help the body calm down and relax. Be sure to follow the same ritual every day before going to bed. The brain will start interpreting this as the time to sleep, hence increase chances of dozing off faster. Simple habits such as reading a book, yoga, or simply taking a warm bath can go a long way in promoting sleep.
- Avoid electronic devices and screens: Computer, smartphone, and TV screens produce blue-light which can make falling asleep almost impossible. Prolonged exposure to blue light by using your smartphone while in bed, or watching TV a few hours to bedtime only inhibits the production of the sleep hormone. That said, consider switching off all the lights, computer screens, and your phone several minutes to bedtime. Turn off overhead lights in the bedroom, and only leave the bedside lamps dimmed for some time. Dimming the lights helps the body produce melatonin, hence a better chance of drifting to sleep.
- Create a sleep haven out of your bedroom: The bedroom should only be used for sleep, sex, and relaxation, nothing more. Anything else should be done outside the bedroom. You, therefore, shouldn’t bring work to your bedroom, nor should you make it your conference room. You might also want to invest in blackout drapes or curtains to block light out completely. Your bedroom isn’t, however, complete without a comfortable bed and mattress. Make sure your mattress is supportive and comfortable enough too read these Sattva reviews. Invest in a white noise machine if none of these seems to help.
- Avoid clock-watching: Most people will spend hours watching the clock and wondering when they will fall asleep. Doing so only increases stress levels, making the condition even worse. One way to avoid this is to have the clock face away from you. Should you spend more than 30 minutes in bed and no sleep, get out of bed and look for something distracting to do. Knitting, reading a book, or even listening to relaxing music might get you sleepy. Make sure the bedroom is as quiet as possible when you jump back in bed.