10 Steps You Can Take Today to Get More Sleep Tonight
Without good-quality, uninterrupted sleep, you could consistently feel run down and very moody. However, these 10 steps could help you drift off to dreamland faster — and stay there all night:
1) Get in the Mood to Snooze
Before bed, take part in activities that will signal to your mind and body it’s time to wind down. Meditation before bed is a great way to calm your mind prior to turning it in for the night.
Reading your favorite book and listening to some relaxing tunes are a few ideas other ideas that start to put your mind at ease before drifting off into a deep sleep.
2) Keep Calm If You Can’t Sleep
We all have evenings where it is difficult to calm your mind, but the more you stress about it, the longer it will take you to fall asleep. If you become too frustrated about the inability to sleep, it’ll likely be even longer before you slumber successfully.
When sleep just won’t come, try some of the activities above for about an hour, then see if you’re relaxed enough to hit the hay.
3) Don’t Work in Bed
Many people bring laptops, tablets and phones with them into the bedroom. However, doing that could make your brain associate the bed with working, not sleep.
Studies have indicated the blue light emitted from electronic devices like phones, computers, and tablets can be seriously disruptive to your sleep cycles. There are several innovated apps you can install to combat the blue light if you read from a tablet.
The best solution, however, is to simply make sure you work keep your work outside the bedroom, and only head to bed for sleep or intimacy.
4) Do Your Part to Lessen Nighttime Stress
Although it’s sometimes unavoidable, getting stressed before bed could make you lie awake for hours. Take actions that reduce the chances you’ll deal with stress within a couple hours prior to sleep.
Save financial discussions and decisions for over your morning coffee with your spouse, rather than before bed time.
Make others aware work-related phone calls are off limits after working hours unless emergent, and try to avoid media with disturbing subject matter.
5) Adjust the Thermostat
Research suggests room temperatures below 54 or above 75 degrees Fahrenheit may disrupt sleep. See what happens when you keep the environment at 65 degrees, the temperature thought to create the best sleeping conditions.
Odds are, though you may feel chilly at first, your sleep quality will increase.
6) Don’t Rely on Alcohol to Sleep
If you think a nightcap will give you better sleep, that’s not completely true. Alcohol may help you reach sleep faster, but it’s likely to decrease the overall rest quality.
7) Sip a Non-Caffeinated Hot Drink like Herbal Tea
It could be helpful to soothe yourself before bedtime by sipping a hot beverage. However, if you take that route, choose something like caffeine-free herbal tea. Even a little bit of caffeine late at night can disrupt your sleep schedule.
Teas like chamomile, peppermint, and rooibos are all caffeine free herbal options that you can sip until your heart’s content before hitting the hay. In fact, chamomile tea specifically has been linked to a decrease in anxiety, aid in digestion, and ease muscle tension associated with anxiety.
8) Upgrade Your Mattress
Statistics indicate 60 to 80 percent of people complain about lower back pain. If you’re among them, consider getting a better mattress.
Select one that gives good support to the heaviest parts of your body and is large enough to accommodate you and another person, if applicable.
If you share a bed with your spouse or children, make sure you take the appropriate steps to make your sleeping space comfortable and safe for all parties.
9) Create Evening Meals Wisely
The quest to get a good night’s sleep can start at dinnertime. There are several types of foods that could start helping your body transition toward sleep. Go with complex carbohydrates like whole-grain breads and brown rice, plus lean proteins, including turkey, fish and low-fat cheese.
If you’re a night time snacker consider munching on a banana or some dates before bed, both have been linked to better sleep.
10) Have a Chat With Your Doctor
If you attempt all or most of the steps above and find sleep is still elusive, talk to your physician. Often, professional insight helps pinpoint things that were overlooked before, and medical advice may make you aware of new treatments.
There’s no need to let insomnia rule your life. Better sleep may be easier to get than you think, especially after pursuing the ideas above.
(Jennifer Landis is the editor of MissRX.com and MindfulnessMama.com. She is incredibly passionate about health and wellness and enjoys learning and sharing knowledge with everyone she can! She loves to develop healthy recipes, do yoga, and spend time with her husband and daughter. You can follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.)