Are you having trouble falling asleep?
Below are seven things that can be of help.
1. Block out light
Your internal workings are governed by a circadian rhythm that tells us to be awake and active during the day, at to rest when night falls. The brain triggers the production of melatonin to help you fall asleep, but this can be hampered by some factors with lights being the most prominent. Try to avoid bright lights at least an hour or so before jumping to bed if you are finding it hard to catch some shut-eye. The lights, especially those in the blue spectrum, are known to affect the circadian rhythm. So try doing things such as dimming the lights, avoiding screens (the TV and smartphones) or have them set to a nighttime mode to reduce the brightness.
Think of it; why is it that kids love bedtime stories? Why is it they these help them fall asleep? We enjoyed the stories but dropped the habit as we grew up and started reading ourselves. Research shows that reading before bed significantly helps improve sleep. As you enter into the world of fiction, your mind is freed from its burdens, and your imagination gets excited making you feel more relaxed thus setting you up for a restful slumber.
3. Avoid afternoon naps
In as much as those midday naps may be a delight to have, they can be counterproductive. You risk disrupting your sleep schedule if you take long naps during the day because your mind and body may feel rested thus not in tune with the circadian rhythm with its bedtime. Therefore, track your naps so that you do not oversleep. Power naps are the best, do roughly twenty minutes of sleep, and you will wake up feeling refreshed and able to continue with your work.
4. Exercise daily
Exercising regularly helps to improve sleep; it helps you drift off to slumberland with ease and to have quality sleep. The National Sleep Foundation did a study that showed a person will fall asleep easier and have quality, restful sleep when they engage in around 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous workouts. However, it is wise to point out that exercising late in the day will be counterproductive since it does not allow for enough time for the body to rest and recover before bedtime.
5. Stick to a sleep schedule
Every person will have a sleep schedule, and this should come naturally. Having trouble sleeping is an indication that the timing is off and thus you may end up staying awake when you go to bed when you know you should be asleep. It is possible to develop a sleep schedule starting with setting a wake-up time that you will follow every morning, and the same applies for a bedtime. Remember to follow the program daily even during the weekends. Opt for an early bedtime to that you get enough sleep hours (around 7 - 9 hours) and wake up early. And ensure you have a relatively new mattress, over 10 years is too old and will be detrimental to sleep - try this Nectar mattress on for size.
6. Avoid alcohol and eat lightly in the evening
Big meals result in slow digestion that can disrupt your sleep cycle; the same goes for drinking alcohol a few hours before bed. You should plan your meals to be in line with your sleep schedule so that you can eat at least six hours before going to bed, keep the meal light. Also, remember to take water, and this should also be a few hours before bed.
7. Monitor your bedroom temperature
Sleep research experts suggest that the ideal temperature that encourages better sleep is around 65 degrees. Our body temperatures fluctuate during the day, rising and falling slightly; the patterned is associated with our sleep cycle. When tired, the body temperature tends to drop when we sleep and then shoot up when we wake up. Given such facts, the environment in the room and affect the quality of sleep. If the bedroom is hot, then it will affect your body temperature and make you restless. The same goes if it is too cold. Try to find the perfect temperature setting that suits your body that allows you to fall asleep. Research on what the National Sleep Foundations says about setting the bedroom to have the right environment that encourages sleeping with ease.