Insomnia and general sleep trouble can be extremely painful, but you don’t necessarily need to turn to sleep pills or other expensive aids. Here are five tips to help you get some rest more naturally.
1. A Strict Schedule
Schedules can help you get to sleep at the right time and stay asleep for the whole night. Set a time for yourself when you’ll lay down in bed every day and stick to it even during vacations or on weekends. Your body follows what’s called a circadian rhythm which dictates when it falls asleep and when it feels awake. Solidifying a sleep schedule will help your body develop that rhythm in a positive way.
2. Don’t Nap During The Day
As you might guess, taking naps throughout the day really hurts your body’s ability to sleep at night. You should avoid naps as much as possible, ideally altogether.
3. Consume Less Caffeine
Many of us love drinking coffee throughout the day, but it can be difficult to stop the flow of caffeine early enough in the day to make sleep possible. You should not consume anything that contains caffeine from at least four hours before your scheduled bedtime and ideally six hours before. Keep in mind that this isn’t just coffee and soda, either. Chocolate, tea, and pain relievers such as ibuprofen also contain caffeine. You should also avoid smoking in that same time period, as tobacco can provide similar stimulation to caffeine.
4. If You Aren’t Asleep In 20 Minutes, Do Something Else
One of the worst feelings in the world is laying in bed tossing and turning but being unable to fall asleep. If this is happening to you, don’t just stay in bed; give yourself 20 minutes to fall asleep, and if you don’t, get up and go do something else that will relax your mind, such as meditating or listening to music. Finding something relaxing to do is also a good idea if you find yourself waking up at some point throughout the night. When you are trying to fall asleep, don’t stare at the clock as you do so, or you’ll just get more anxious and have more trouble drifting off.
5. Make Your Bedroom Comfortable
If your bedroom isn’t conducive to sleep you will never get a great night’s sleep. Minimize clutter, make it nice and cool, and ensure that your bed and bedding is comfortable. Does your mattress need changing? Check out these Sleep Outfitters mattress reviews and consider an upgrade.
6. Build Your Own Routine
Beyond just sticking to a specific schedule on when to go to bed, you should develop a bedtime routine that you do every single night. This can include showering, listening to music, reading before bed, or anything else that helps your body calm down after a long day and get ready for sleep. One thing to avoid in your bedtime routine is screens. Staring at your computer monitor, television, or phone won’t help you wind down. In fact, the light from screens like this can stimulate your brain and make it want to stay up later.