At some stage in our lives we have all struggled to sleep. For some people it is a constant battle. Here are my tips to help with a better night’s sleep.
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No phones,tablets or Gaming
Most of us use our mobiles for alarms, reading, music and more. However, using devices in the bedroom can really impact our sleep. Looking at work emails and life admin creates the wrong mental state for relaxation and can send the mind into active mode when it should be winding down. Having your phone next to your bed promotes middle-of-the-night clock watching, which is one of the big no-no’s when trying to get back to sleep. Ideally, you would stop use of all devices at least an hour before bed to allow your brain to switch off naturally. Over-active thinking patterns keep the mind alert. Keeping a note pad by your bed instead, if things you need to do pop into your mind, write them down to check on in the morning and free your mind for sleep. Keep your phone outside the door where you can still hear the alarm, or better yet, get an alarm clock and leave your phone downstairs.
Vigorous exercise releases cortisol, which can disrupt natural sleep patterns. Keep your workout for the morning and make sure anything you do in the three hours before bed is a gentle walk, stretching or yoga. Light exercise can help your body to wind down ready for sleep.
Getting drunk might make it a lot easier to drop off but the sleep you get will be unsettled and poor quality as your body deals with sugar levels plummeting and the liver metabolising the alcohol.
A warm bath will gently elevate your body temperature before the subsequent drop, which causes drowsiness. A scented candle and soft music can create a restful atmosphere. Lavender sprays, candles or pillows can relax the nervous system. Ear cleaning can help with sleeping. Ears don’t stop hearing during your sleep, your brain just ignores what they hear, however if you have a build up of wax, it can cause earache or ringing in the ears which you will struggle to sleep through. Keeping your ears clean and healthy should improve your deep sleep patterns.
Get Natural Daylight
Sunlight regulates your internal body clock. A walk in the midday sun will help your body find its natural rhythm.
Keep Your Bedroom Dark
A peaceful, dark room promotes good sleep. Light coming into the room is a powerful trigger for the brain to wake up. If you can’t make your room particularly dark, get a sleep mask. Anecdotally, they also help people struggling to sleep when it is dark, the light pressure holding your eyes gently closed keeps you in sleep mode.
Stick to a routine
In theory this is an excellent idea. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time each day. Once your body clock knows what’s expected of it, it is more likely to fall into line. Sleep late and sleep in on the weekends and you’ll wake up with a Monday morning sleep hangover. Avoid it by setting your alarm for the same time each morning.
A Good Mattress, Bed and Pillow
Having a supportive and comfortable mattress can have such a huge impact on your quality of sleep. Also ensure you have a pillow that supports your head and shoulders.
Other Factors That Cause Poor Sleep Quality
Sleeping disorders are serious problems that afflict around 70 million adults in the United States. A sleeping disorder, like sleep apnea, can severely affect a person’s quality of sleep and rest.
If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest and it is accompanied by certain symptoms (e.g., regular and loud snoring and irregular breathing), it’s best to consult your doctor or a sleeping specialist immediately.
People with sleeping apnea often need a CPAP machine to help them breathe regularly while sleeping and get a good night’s rest. Other sleeping disorders may require treatments involving medications or even surgery.