Good night, sleep tight: how to sleep better
The value of a good night’s sleep is never appreciated so much as when you’re missing out on it. If you’re struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep, check out these tips for how to sleep better.
Disclaimer: These tips on how to sleep better are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are having trouble sleeping, you should seek the advice of a medical professional. These tips are just suggestions from an Average Jane on how to sleep better without supplements, medication or alcohol.
Perfect Conditions for Sleep
Before you jump in bed, check the thermostat. Do you have perfection, Goldilocks? Not too hot? Not too cold? Is the air just right? Don’t be surprised if you can’t sleep in the summer if you’re toughing it out without air conditioning. Is the environment free of loud noises, including loud neighbors, stereos, car alarms and other annoyances?
Give Yourself a Bedtime
Remember when you were a kid and you actually had a bedtime? As an adult, you’re in charge, but you can’t escape the circadian rhythm – your body’s 24-hour clock. That body clock gets confused if you go to bed at extremely different times. Routine is your friend, so have a goal for when you’ll lay down at night and get up in the morning. Try to stick to these times even on days you’re not working.
Create Bedtime Rituals
Have you ever found yourself laying in bed, unable to fall asleep, because you’re stressed about the next day? Or maybe you’re in bed unable to sleep because of something unpleasant that you’re dwelling on that you can’t change? Having a relaxing activity planned before bed can help you fall asleep and this can become part of your nighttime routine. Taking a bubble bath or hot shower, performing yoga poses, having a time of prayer or meditation, or reading a book can relax your mind to help you fall asleep.
Quit Caffeine to Sleep Better
Caffeine can be human’s best friend or worst enemy. In the morning, it can feel like a super fluid that empowers us to face the day. But in the evening, or even late afternoon, having coffee can make you feel more exhausted than before, too wired to sleep, and it can make your sleep not as deep as it could be. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, try having your last caffeinated beverage no less than four hours before bedtime. It may take a few days to notice a difference, but you will sleep better.
Sleep Better With Less Screen Time
Just like caffeine, technology can be a person’s best friend and worst enemy. The glow that emanates from a cell phone or television can be exciting to watch for entertainment but it can also contribute to an inability to fall asleep fast. When possible, keep the screen out of the bedroom. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, do an experiment: try eliminating your interaction with any type of electronic screen an hour before bed for a week. At the end of the week, think about how it went. Did you fall asleep faster? If so, you might want to build that into your bedtime routine.
How often do you have a hard time sleeping?
© 2013 erinshelby