You toss, you turn, you toss some more. You can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. We all know how easy it is to fall out of good sleep habits. When this happens, what can we do to sleep better? Here are a few tips we can follow to help us get our zzz’s:
Naps are a no-no
Of course, if you are absolutely exhausted, then a short nap might be beneficial to help you make it through your day. In general, however, you want to avoid naps during the day which can actually prevent you from falling or staying asleep at night.
Turn it off
Turn off your devices, including but not limited to your cell phone, your tablet, and your laptop. There is blue light emitted from electronic devices that is not conducive to sleep. Additionally, using these devices can keep us “wound up” as they can be highly stimulating. Try not to use these electronic devices just before bed so that your brain can wind down.
Since our body temperature lowers while we are sleeping, it makes sense that the temperature in our bedroom should be lowered as well. You might find that sleeping in a cooler environment might help you to sleep better. If you are female, you might be experiencing menopause which can cause night sweats, so keeping your bedroom cooler can help to counteract this.
Keep your mouth shut
That is, try not to put food in your mouth too close to bedtime. There is a direct correlation between what we eat and how we sleep. If you do find that you really need to eat something, try to eat something that isn’t too sugary (which can make you wired) or acidic (which can cause heartburn). This also holds true for what you drink in the evening. Caffeine is a stimulant to many people and can keep you awake. Though you think that glass of wine helps you to fall asleep, it might actually wake you during the night, so you might be better off skipping it.
Just think of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s song “Relax”. Heed his advice and “don’t do it”. You need to unwind your mind before you go to bed. Maybe try simple yoga or meditation. Whatever you do (or don’t do) find something that relaxes you that won’t stimulate your body or your mind too much.
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Try to have a nightly routine that you don’t break. The more you repeat your nightly routine, the more your body will become accustomed to it. Simply by keeping this schedule, you should, in turn, sleep better.
If you’ve tried these tips and still are having a hard time falling or staying asleep, it might be time to talk to your medical professional about the next steps for you. He or she might be able to recommend a supplement or, if necessary, provide you a prescription for something to help you sleep better.
Sleep - you want it, you need it, and I know with a few simple modifications and adjustments, you can get it.