15 tips to improve your sleep August 11, 2015
Some mornings it is really hard to get out of bed. Whenever you did not sleep well through the night, the sound of your alarm seems even more awful to you than normal and chances are you feel exhausted and tired all day long. So why is it that some people sleep like babies and you toss and turn all night? If you like, you can read all about my 15 tips to improve your sleep in this article.
If you suffer from ongoing insomnia though, please consult your doctor about it and stay away from over the counter sleeping aids. They might only further your sleep problems.
1. Establish a sleep pattern
Go to bed at the same time every day and get up at the same time, too. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, because our bodies do not distinguish on whether it is a Saturday or a Tuesday.
2. Limit light exposure
Turn the lights off or dim them at night. Light exposure can influence your sleep more than you might think. Try to keep your sleep environment very dark with heavy curtains in front of your windows and switch all the lights off when you go to bed. Also consider switching out anything with a standby light. It is easier to fall and stay asleep in the dark.
3. Avoid heavy foods and alcohol in the evenings
This tip is widely shared but a lot of people tend to ignore it anyway. Avoiding heavy, fat foods and overeating at dinner is more about scheduling your meals than it is to avoid them altogether and consuming alcohol at night really is a sleep killer for most people. So what do you want more? It is all your choice, in the end.
4. Limit your caffeine intake
This one sounds not that difficult until you pay closer attention to how high your caffeine intake really is. And yes, decaffeinated coffee, some sodas and chocolate have caffeine in them too! Try to limit those drinks and maybe set yourself a time in the afternoon after which you won’t have them anymore. This is again a question of scheduling.
5. Do not sleep during the day if you struggle to sleep through the night already
This tip is probably the hardest one to follow if you are overly tired and all you want to do is sleep. But to get into regular sleeping habits again, you should not take naps during the day.
6. Slow it down in the evenings
Try to calm down and unwind during your evenings. If your energy levels are really high and you burst with energy it is harder to get yourself synced with your bedtime. So try relaxing activities instead, for a while at least.
7. Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex
If you reserve your bed for sleeping and sex, your body will associate it with relaxation and rest.Do not work from bed or watch TV there. Just don’t!
8. Keep it cool
Do not sleep in a bedroom that is overheated or has bad air circulation. You need to find a temperature that is neither too cold nor too warm and consider wearing different clothes. Overall, a cooler sleep environment will help you sleep better.
9. Make your bedroom comfortable
Invest in a good mattress, pillow, blankets and the right curtains to keep the bedroom dark. Set a comfortable, cozy atmosphere that makes you feel good.
10. Get up before tossing and turning for two hours and avoid frustration
If you really cannot fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, leave the bedroom for a bit. Get a glass of water, try to relax and try again after a while. Maybe read a book or listen to relaxing music instead.
11. Exercise during the day but not too late
Do not get a major workout squeezed into your evenings only three hours before your bedtime. Your enegery levels will be all pumped up and it might be harder to start feeling tired.
12. Banish what wakes you up
Do not let your pets in your bed. Also, if your partner snores and that keeps you awake, try to find solutions or even consider separate bedrooms if you have to.
13. Try a nighttime ritual
Try relaxation exercises or meditation before bed or take a hot shower in the evenings. Everything that helps you to feel good and relaxed. Establish your own personal evening ritual that sets the right atmosphere for your night.
14. Ban your TV, phone and laptop from your bed
Just do it! Other culprits for your insomnia might be a big LED display or outdoor lights that your curtains do not sufficiently cover up.
15. Find out what it is that stresses you out.
Try to think about what you are worried about before your evening starts. Write it on a piece of paper or talk about it during the day and early evening when the worries come up first, so that you can let it go before you try to sleep. It might just be unresolved worries in your head and over-thinking that cause your entire sleep problems.
I hope you found these 15 tips to improve your sleep helpful. Should you have any questions or things to add to the list, I am looking forward to reading your comments.
Photography by © Jay Mantri