As it seems, most of us struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. Now, you can try these nine tips to help you sleep better and stay asleep longer.
As you know, making sure you get a good night’s sleep is incredibly important. Not only for your physical health but your mental well-being as well. In fact, the good news is there’s hope for those of us who struggle falling and staying asleep.
There Are Simple Things You Can Do To Help You Sleep Better
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Did you know more than 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders? The numbers are astounding and growing. More so, due to the pandemic, folks find themselves struggling to sleep due to anxiety and depression.
Even more so, things like anxious thoughts and feelings can prevent us from sleep better as well. That’s why it’s important to try everything you can even the simplest of things so you can sleep better.
At times, we bring out the big guns to help us sleep better when quite possibly, it’s something as insignificant as wearing a good sleep mask. Many folks do find relief wearing them and sleep comfortably as well.
With that said, let’s discover some simple ways you can sleep better and stay asleep longer.
1. Consider Using Blackout Blinds In Your Bedroom
One of the first things I did to help me sleep better was installing blackout blinds in our bedroom. The benefits were immediate, and I fell asleep faster as well. The first port of call for anyone looking to get better sleep should be new blackout blinds.
In fact, light leaking into your bedroom from outside or streetlights and passing cars can keep you awake. Installing blackout blinds will block out any distracting light entering your bedroom. They will provide a peaceful environment for you to sleep and stay asleep too!
Moreover, these blinds last for years, and I find them very easy to clean and maintain. Adding something as simple as blackout blinds might be the one solution you need to sleep better and feel better.
2. Create A Good Sleep Schedule That Works
As simple as it sounds, creating a good sleep schedule that works for you might be the right solution. Most of us thrive when we work with detailed schedules. We use carefully designed work schedules, so why not one for our sleeping habits too?
Regardless of what time you grow tired, it would help if you stuck to sleeping at the same time every night. Making sure you sleep for at least 7-8 hours a night is essential. If you stick to hopping into bed every night at the same time, shutting the TV, lights, and phones, you might find a simple solution that works.
Last year, I purchased a Smart Watch with a Sleep Tracker. Also, it provided me with lots of useful information about my sleep habits. And it contained detailed information about my sleep duration and consistency. Wearing this smartwatch is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of sleep patterns so you can make easily make improvements.
3. Try Not To Eat Late At Night
As you might know, eating too close to your bedtime can reduce the overall quality of your slumber. Additionally, eating late at night can make it much harder to fall asleep, as well.
Aside from causing heartburn, eating too late can prevent you from properly digesting your food. Typically, nutritionists will tell you to wait about three hours between your last meal and bedtime. Doing so will allow your food to digest and not interfere with digestion.
For instance, some foods contain substances that may help sleep, but you should avoid eating them too close to bedtime as well. Foods like turkey and pork chops do contain high levels of tryptophan, which produce serotonin. Even so, it would help if you didn’t eat them too close to bedtime.
Personally, I avoid eating late at night because I experience nightmares and strange dreams. These dreams can prevent me from staying asleep and interfere with my productivity the following day.
4. Always Avoid Bright Screens Before Bedtime
Without saying, you should avoid bright lights of any kind before bedtime. Doing so blocks melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone, from helping us sleep.
In short, avoid light exposure from your TV or phone for at least two hours before you turn in. You can also use features on your smart device screen if you must use your device beforehand.
Interestingly, blue-light addiction is a real thing and can prevent you from getting the slumber you deserve. Studies show the blue light emitted from screens does affect the quality of our slumber. Ironically, the color blue, known for its calming effect, does quite the opposite.
This blue light suppresses the release of melatonin and will disrupt our circadian rhythm as well. More so, the effects of blue light can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
Avoiding blue light, especially before bedtime, is a small thing you can do for your health. Make sure you use the features on your smartphone to change the screen color to night mode before you turn in.
If you find you must use your devices before bedtime, you can purchase an Anti-Blue Light Protector for your laptop as well as your mobile devices. Doing so will help filter out blue light and relieve computer eye strain to help you sleep better.
5. Keep Your Body Cool In Bed
The temperature in your bedroom also can prevent you from stacking Z’s at the end of the day. Believe it or not, the temperature can indeed factor into why you struggle to fall asleep and stay that way.
In fact, did you know the ideal temperature for getting to sleep is between 15-19 Celsius (59-66 Fahrenheit)? Mainly because the human body’s temperature fluctuates throughout the day. Our temperature peaks in the late afternoon and reaches its lowest during the night at around 5 am.
A lot of folks recommend purchasing a Cooling Blanket to solve their overheating issues at night. Keeping your body cool at night is worth a try! Imagine how pleased you will be when you see, that’s all it took!
6. Try To Use Your Bed For Only Bed Activities
While it may seem odd, it’s always a good idea to think of our beds as a place to rest and sleep. We have complex minds, and we tend to make associations with our physical world. For example, we associate our kitchens with cooking and eating. And doing so allows our brains to make these types of connections cognitively.
Above all, we associate our beds with sleeping and sex, and when we get in the habit of using them, otherwise, this can disrupt our sleep patterns. It’s always a good idea to assign our beds with only bed activities.
If you hop in your bed with your laptop or phone and spend endless hours there, you can confuse your brain into thinking incorrectly about it. In an article, Dr. Michael T. Murray, states, “Your body and mind should recognize your bedroom as a place of rest and intimacy.” He goes on to say, “By subtracting simple things like devices, outside noise, and adding good hygiene, using your bed for the sole purpose of sleep and sex, can truly improve and benefit your well-being.”
Here, you can see how changing your mindset about your bed can help you to sleep better purely by a natural association. At times, it’s a simple thing like changing how we think or even use something, can make a huge difference in the quality of our lives.
7. Be Mindful Of Your Caffeine Intake
I have a friend who suffers from a sleep disorder yet completely refuses to curtail her caffeine intake. She says she can’t make it through the day without drinking her favorite coffee and does this until 9 pm.
Moreover, we know caffeine consumption and our cultural habits go hand in hand but, that doesn’t mean these habits are good for us. While caffeine is great for a morning pick-me-up, it has the opposite effect on our slumber.
With that said, it’s a good idea to cut off your caffeine intake around six hours before you plan on turning in for the night. If you must have a coffee/tea after mid-afternoon, they recommended that you drink a good decaf coffee instead.
8. Avoid Sleeping In (Even On Weekends)
We mentioned earlier how essential sleep schedules are for maintaining proper levels of sleep, and yes, that also means the weekends. At the same time, some of us enjoy having a lay in on a Sunday morning, which harm your sleep schedule.
More importantly, if your weekday and weekend sleep schedules differ too much, you can experience symptoms of jetlag. If you need to make up for sleep after a late night on the town, you should wake up at your regular time and have a mid-day nap to catch up on sleep instead of having an extra hour or two in bed.
9. Don’t Take Too Many Naps
While taking a nap during the day can help you feel more rested, too many can prevent you from sleeping at night as well. Napping too long or too close to bedtime can throw a wrench into your sleep schedule.
If you need to nap, make sure you do so at mid-day. Limit your nap time to 10 or 15 minutes too. Also, ensure you create a restful environment in a quiet, dark place so you can take full advantage of your rest time.
We hope you gleaned some helpful tips from this article. What do you find helps you the most to sleep better at night?
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