Many people fight an ongoing battle every night with their bed. Have you ever felt like you just can't get to sleep? Between worrying about the trials of today, and the tribulations of tomorrow, it can be nearly impossible to wake up rested and refreshed. In order to help you get the best rest possible without the use of sleep-inducing drugs, we have put together our latest top ten list on the best ways to get a better night sleep. If you happen to suffer from insomnia (mild or severe), it is probably best to consult the advice of a doctor to improve your sleeping patterns. With this list, we simply want to provide you with a foundation for better sleep.
10. Put the computer and cell phone down...
Ever notice how you can feel tired, but be awake enough to stay on the computer until the late hours of the night? You may not notice it, but the light being projected from your computer and smart phone can contribute to you feeling more awake at night. To prevent this, put down your phone down and turn your computer off before going to bed, so that your brain isn't stimulated by the light coming from the screen.
9. Avoid over the counter remedies
Although over-the-counter sleep aids can help you get a decent night's rest, they will often cause your body to become dependent on the active sleep agent, making it difficult to fall asleep without it. Many over-the-counter sleep aids are marketed as “non habit” forming, but that is simply not the case. You may not experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them, but they won't correct your overall sleeping pattern, so seek natural remedies first. If that does not work, consult your doctor.
8. Proper diet
Before bed, avoid eating any large, fatty meals that might be difficult for you to digest. and thus, keep you up all night, If you are going to eat something, make sure that it is light and free of excessive sugar so you don't get a rush of energy before bed.
7. Reduce anxiety before bed
This may be easier said than done, but preventing pre-bedtime anxiety can be a detrimental factor in helping you get a restful night's sleep. Try practicing a variety of breathing techniques to help quell your mind before you go to bed. If that doesn't work, try various progressive muscle relaxation techniques that can help relax your body. If that still doesn't work, try venting to someone so you are not internalizing everything in your head before you go to bed.
6. Quit smoking
If you are a regular smoker, you may be actively contributing to your inability to get a good night's rest. Since nicotine is a strong stimulant, it can disrupt your sleeping patterns if you are having a cigarette before bed. Withdrawal symptoms can even cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, craving a cigarette.
5. Avoid alcohol before bed
That glass of Merlot may look extra appetizing, but try to avoid drinking it before going to bed. Different forms of alcohol, like wine, can help you fall asleep faster, but they inevitably reduce the quality of your sleep. This will cause you to wake you up at random points during the night.
4. Limit your nap times
Naps can be a good way to make up for lost sleep here and there, but don't replace a good sleep schedule with periodic naps during the day. Not only will this throw off your internal clock, it will leave you more tired and groggy than ever before. Keep naps to a 20 minute minimum so your body can get a quick recharge without entering full sleep mode.
3. Have a sleep conducive room
Make sure that your “bedroom” is a comfortable and relaxing place to sleep. Many researchers recommend keeping the “office” and “bedroom” separate from each other. This way, you are not associating the anxieties of your office, with the peacefulness of your bedroom. Also, make sure that you have adequate blinds to keep the light out. Using those old bedsheets may be more affordable, but when the sun begins to rise early in the morning, you will be waking up with the roosters. Create a space in which you are comfortable enough to lay down and relax after a long day.
If you are having trouble sleeping, one of the best things to do is engage in a consistent routine of physical exercise. This will not only energize your body throughout the day, it will also tire out your body at night. Make sure though, that you do not exercise too closely before bedtime. Your post-workout energy will make it difficult for you to fall asleep immediately after a workout. To get around this, try working out in the early evening so you have time to shake off that post-workout energy and fall asleep soundly at night.
1. Set a routine
One of the most fundamental ways to get a better sleep at night is to create a consistent sleep routine. This entails, going to bed, and waking up at the same time everyday. If you are constantly going to bed and waking up at different times, you will throw off your internal clock, even if you are getting the same amount of sleep. If it helps, try keeping a sleeping log noting when you lay down for bed, and when you wake up in the morning. Setting a consistent sleep schedule for yourself is the best way to get a good nights rest.