10 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep
Do you lie awake in the middle of the night struggling to get back to sleep? Do you often find yourself sharing your bed with kids or pets? Is noise keeping you awake, or do you feel anxious or stressed? Insomnia is a common sleep condition, which affects all of us at some point. It’s normal to have a bad night’s sleep now and again. But if you’re struggling to remember the last time you woke up feeling refreshed, it may be time to get help. Here are ten top tips to help you overcome insomnia.
- Establish sleep routines
If you have children, there’s a good chance that you’ve worked hard to get them into a routine. But what about your own bedtime regime? Every parent is different, but most have a system in place when it comes to getting their kids into bed at a reasonable time. If your children are used to going to bed at a similar time each day, they get used to it. This means there’s less risk of tantrums at bedtime and that you have a little time to relax and unwind after a long day. As a parent, your kids are probably your priority, but you must look after yourself. When it comes to sleep, you can’t run on empty for long. Try and follow the advice you give your kids. Get to bed at a decent time each day and make sure you get enough rest. If you hit the hay and get up at similar times each day, your body clock will soon adjust.
It sounds simple. But how many times have you crawled into bed with your mind racing and struggled to get to sleep? Before you head to the bedroom, take at least half an hour to chill out. Read a book, watch TV, or call and catch up with a friend. Run a bath, listen to music or meditate. Do whatever you find relaxing. If you feel calm, you’re much more likely to drift off without any problems.
Exercise is one of the best ways of improving sleep quality and quantity. When you play sport, or work out, it tires you out. But it also clears your mind and helps to reduce stress and tension. If you’re a busy mom or dad, you may think that you don’t have time for exercise. But it’s always possible to find half an hour or so. Take the kids for a walk or do a workout DVD while they nap. Ask a friend or sibling to pop over for an hour while you go for a jog or hit the gym. You don’t have to go crazy and follow a strict workout regime. But engaging in moderate physical activity on a regular basis will really help you to sleep.
- Avoid Caffeine
Are you one of those people that can’t function without a morning coffee? Do you sometimes feel that caffeine is the only thing keeping you awake during the day? If so, you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with caffeine in moderation. But it is a stimulant, and this means it can contribute to sleepless nights. If you like a hot drink before bed, opt for decaffeinated versions. Ideally, you should avoid anything that contains caffeine after around 3 pm.
- Invest in a quality mattress
Are you sick of waking up because you’ve got a spring sticking in your back? Do you toss and turn all night trying to get comfortable? Do you suffer from back pain? Have you had your mattress for years? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to get a new mattress. It’s essential to feel comfortable when you’re in bed. A good mattress should enable you to feel relaxed, and ensure that your spine is supported fully. When it comes to choosing a new mattress, there’s an element of personal preference. But it’s also advisable to read reviews. Check out mattress-guides.net and take a tour around some showrooms. Try different brands and types for size and go for the product you find most comfortable.
- Get your sleeping environment right
Even the soundest sleeper would struggle to enjoy a good night’s sleep in a noisy, hot and bright room. If you’re having trouble nodding off, it may be to do with your sleeping environment. Is your room noisy? Does the glare of streetlights come streaming through the curtains? Do you struggle to get comfortable because you’re too hot? If so, making some simple changes may have a positive impact. Invest in some blackout blinds or add a lining to your curtains. Ask your neighbors politely if they could be a little quieter at night or use earplugs. Place a fan by the bed, or consider getting air conditioning.
- Banish technology from the bedroom
Do you watch TV in bed? Are you always checking emails late at night? Do you get woken up by red flashing lights or beeping noises? In an ideal world, your bedroom should be a peaceful sanctuary free from technology. Leave tablets and laptops downstairs. Resist the temptation to get into bed and start checking social media, texting or going through work emails. When you get into bed, focus on getting your head down. If you’re thinking about work, you may get stressed out or start planning for the next day, which will make it harder to nod off.
- Resolve any issues
They say you should never go to sleep on an argument, and this is excellent advice. If something is troubling you, try and find a solution as quickly as you can. Are you worried about deadlines at work? Have you had a row with your partner? Have you fallen out with a friend? If things aren’t quite right, they can play on your mind. Ask for help at work, or extend an olive branch. It’s much easier to get to sleep at night when you’re happy, and you’ve got things in order.
- Try some stress-management techniques
Stress is one of the main contributing factors when it comes to sleepless nights. Most of us have times when we feel stressed out. But if you’re struggling with stress all the time, it’s a good idea to seek help. You may benefit from medical treatments or self-help techniques. As we’ve already discovered, exercise is a great stress-buster. Activities like yoga are particularly beneficial. You could also try meditation, breathing exercises, and massage therapy. Some people find that talking to others helps them cope better.
This may involve confiding in a close friend or seeing a therapist. Sometimes, just taking a little time out can make a world of difference. If you do suffer, try and identify triggers. When you think you may be getting overwhelmed, employ techniques that you find helpful. This will help you to nip problems in the bud, and manage stress more effectively. You can explore other coping techniques at http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot.
- Seek help
Sleepless nights are part and parcel of life, especially if you have young kids. It’s normal to have a restless night from time to time. In the grand scheme of things, losing a few hours of sleep won’t do you any harm. But persistent insomnia is a different story. If you don’t get enough sleep, there may be serious and long-lasting implications. When you’re asleep, your body goes through essential processes, which enable it to recover and recharge.
If you can’t sleep, you’re likely to feel tired and irritable the next day. But you may also find that your mental and physical health deteriorates. You’ll be more susceptible to illnesses and infections. Your risk of developing depression may also be elevated. A lack of sleep can also take its toll on your relationships with others. If insomnia is getting you down, seek help. There are treatments and self-help techniques out there that can make a positive difference to your quality of life and your health. Arrange to see your doctor. They will ask you some questions and then suggest suitable therapies. The sooner you get back on track and enjoy good-quality sleep, the better.
Sleep enables us to do a day’s work or look after the kids without getting grumpy or tired. We can take on the world after a good night’s sleep, and we enjoy the company of others. Sleep improves our physical and mental health. Without it, even the most mundane tasks can become a struggle. We may lose our tempers or fall out with others.
It might be impossible to concentrate, or we may make mistakes with disastrous consequences. If you are worried about sleepless nights, don’t hesitate to seek advice. There are people and treatments out there that can help. Take time out to relax, and get your sleep routine in order. Exercise, and try and use coping mechanisms to battle stress. Make an effort to turn your bedroom into a tranquil haven, and rest when you feel tired.