You're definitely not alone if you find yourself struggling to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Unfortunately, an inability to get proper sleep at night can negatively impact your health from a lack of energy to more pronounced irritability. In order to feel your best, scientists recommend at least eight hours of proper sleep per night.
Observing your sleep patterns is the best way to troubleshoot why you're plagued with trouble sleeping. Make sure to note how much sleep you actually get, what factors play a role in the quality, and how much energy you have throughout your day.
Once you've observed your sleeping patterns for a week or two, follow the five tips below for success!
1. Eliminate Lights And Sound
It is crucial to have virtually no light or sound present in the bedroom as they greatly play a role in the quality of your sleep. For example, a pitch dark room will allow your brain to produce more melatonin which is the hormone that makes you drowsy. For this reason, it's crucial to minimize your exposure to lighting, especially mobile devices or technology right before bedtime. It's highly recommended that you remove electronics from your bedroom to make the environment more conducive to sleep. Blackout shades and sleep masks are also great sleeping accessories for many. Lastly, minimize noise in the bedroom, or if you live near a busy intersection, get a white noise machine or install a fan to drown out the sounds.
2. Create A Comfortable Space
Since a third of our adult lives are spent sleeping, it's crucial that you create a comfortable environment and space. Think of the things that relax you, and make sure to lower the thermostat in your bedroom as cooler temperatures help induce sleep. A chilly room means that your body's core temperature will respond better to sleeping. Find out which mattress brands are best and invest in a new one.
3. Create A Bedtime Routine
Much like kids, having a bedtime routine you stick to every night can help condition your mind and body for sleep. Consider activities that calm your mind and allow you to fall into a relaxed state. Participate in things such as journaling, light stretching, meditating or reading a favorite book as a way to start your bedtime wind down.
4. Try Stress Management
Your ability to sleep well is impacted by the amount of stress you experience in your daily life. Though stress alone may not negatively impact you, it can hinder sleep if it slips into anxiety or worry. If you know that you tend to worry a lot, try employing stress management techniques right before bedtime. Deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and gratitude journaling are all great ways to properly handle the situation.
5. Avoid Tossing And Turning
If you find that sleep evades you, get out of bed and do something relaxing for a change. Once again, this activity should make you drowsy, so anything such as reading a boring book or meditation is a good start. Once you start to feel drowsy, you can safely head back to bed.
Sleep should remain high on your list of priorities. Even if you sleep well, you can still use the information described above to better your habits.
Still not getting enough sleep? If this is the case for you, consider the following additional advice:
*Write a written log of your sleep habits for at least a week.
*Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed.
*Do some light stretching exercises.
*Keep tweaking your routine until you find something that works.