If you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle with insomnia, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be. Lack of sleep can make it difficult to concentrate, remember things, and make decisions. It can also lead to irritability, depression, and anxiety. There are a number of things you can do to help improve your sleep.
Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
If you’re struggling with insomnia, one of the best things you can do is to create a relaxing bedtime routine. This will help to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. There are a few key things that should be included in any good bedtime routine. Make sure you use comfortable beddings. Try to look for a good pillow to avoid neck pain and a mattress that is comfortable for your sleeping position. You should also avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime. This includes things like phones, laptops, and TVs. The blue light emitted by these devices can interfere with your body’s natural sleep hormones and make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, focus on relaxing activities such as deep breathing or stretching.
If you find your mind racing, try writing down any thoughts or worries in a journal. This can help to clear your head and make it easier to fall asleep. You can also read a book or take a relaxing bath during this time. If you need to, block out any light coming in from windows with blackout curtains or wear an eye mask. You may also want to use a noise machine or earplugs to block out any disruptive sounds.
Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule
If you’re struggling with insomnia, one of the best things you can do is establish a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Of course, this can be difficult if you have a busy or irregular work schedule. But if you can, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. There are a few different ways you can go about establishing a regular sleep schedule. One is to use an online tool or app that will help you keep track of your sleep patterns. You can also try setting an alarm for yourself that goes off at the same time every day or keeping a sleep journal to help you keep track of your sleep habits.
Another way to establish a regular sleep schedule is to make sure you’re getting enough light exposure during the day. This means spending time outside in natural sunlight or using a light therapy box for 30 minutes each day. Light exposure helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that dictates when you feel sleepy and when you feel awake.
Get Plenty of Exercises
Exercise is another important factor in getting a good night’s sleep. Although it may seem like exercise would make you more tired, research has shown that regular exercise can actually help to improve sleep quality. Exercise helps to promote deep, restful sleep by raising your body temperature and then allowing it to drop back down again. This cycle of temperature changes helps to promote sleep. Exercise also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can both interfere with sleep. So if you’re struggling with insomnia, consider adding some exercise to your daily routine. Just make sure to avoid working out too close to bedtime, as this can actually make it harder to fall asleep. And if you’re not used to exercising, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bed
It’s no secret that caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep. That’s because both substances are diuretics, which means they cause your body to lose water. This can lead to dehydration, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Alcohol may also interfere with the production of adenosine, a chemical that makes you feel sleepy. So, while alcohol may make you feel drowsy at first, it can actually make it harder to sleep later on in the night. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it’s not surprising that it can keep you up at night. What’s more, caffeine stays in your system for up to six hours. So, if you drink a cup of coffee at 6 p.m., you may still be feeling the effects at midnight. If you’re struggling with insomnia, it’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Instead, try drinking herbal tea or water before bedtime.
Don’t Eat Late At Night
Eating late at night can disrupt your sleep patterns and make it harder to fall asleep. This is because your body is digesting food when you should be winding down for the night. So, if you’re struggling with insomnia, try to eat your last meal of the day at least a few hours before bedtime. What you eat during the day can also affect how well you sleep at night. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help your body to be more rested and better able to sleep through the night. You should also watch the kind of food you take in the evening. Avoid heavy, fatty meals before bed as they can lead to indigestion and make it difficult to sleep. Instead, opt for lighter fare such as a salad or soup.
Set Up Your Room Temperature
If you’re struggling with insomnia, one of the first things you should do is take a look at your bedroom environment. The temperature of your room can have a big impact on how well you sleep, so it’s important to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. Ideally, your bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet in order to promote restful sleep. If your room is too hot, it can make you feel uncomfortable and restless. This can cause you to toss and turn all night, which makes it difficult to get the deep, restful sleep that your body needs. On the other hand, if your room is too cold, you may find yourself waking up frequently throughout the night as your body tries to warm itself up. The ideal room temperature for sleeping is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, there are a few things you can do to promote better sleep. First, try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Second, make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. And finally, try to eat a light evening meal a few hours before bedtime. By following these tips, you can help your body to get the restful sleep it needs.
Photo via Unsplash