We all have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep at times. Going to sleep and staying asleep through the night can be a challenge especially if we are grieving or suffering from anxiety. If this is what you are going through, then sleep is more important than ever for your health and well-being.
A good night’s rest can help both your physical and mental health and thus it is important to try to get enough sleep each night. Below we have listed several tips that may help you to go to sleep faster as well as have a deeper sleep through the night.
Create a nightly routine: Our minds become trained by habits. We recognize responses to our environment and log them into our minds. By creating a nightly routine before bed, you can train your brain to prepare itself for sleep every night. The specifics for this routine can vary by person to person. The ideal goal is to take the hour before bed and prepare for sleep.
This can be done in many ways. A typical example would be to have a nighttime snack, take a shower, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth and take care of other nightly hygienics, read a book, write in your journal, pray and then go to sleep. Taking an hour and doing all these actions, or actions that better suit you, are a good way to help condition your brain that it is time to sleep.
Regulate when you drink caffeine: Caffeine is a great way to stay awake, unfortunately, if you drink it at the wrong time of the day, caffeine can cause you to have problems going to sleep. It is recommended that you drink caffeine at the start of your day, and then drink it again at lunchtime, but if you drink it after the midafternoon time-frame it may cause you problems when you try to go to sleep for the night.
This is because caffeine can still be active in your body for several hours after you drink it. It is recommended that you leave 6-8 hours at least after drinking caffeine before you try to go to sleep. This will allow the caffeine to work it’s way through your body and allow you to get some sleep.
Exercise: Exercising is a great way to keep both your mind and body healthy and active. There are many ways that you can exercise. Lifting weights, going for a swim, running several miles, or even just going for a walk. When you exercise you begin to work your body which uses energy. This use of energy will help you rest easier when you go to sleep at night.
The time of day that works best to exercise is based on your personal experiences. Some people start the day with exercise to help get their bodies moving. Others feel that exercising at the start of the day would tire them out too fast and so they exercise at night. It is best if you exercise at night to do so at least an hour or two before bed so your body will have more time to relax.
Unplug from technology: Most of us have our phone, tv, and laptop with us in our rooms at night. As you are relaxing and winding down for the night you might feel inclined to turn on your tv and watch a show or scroll through your phone. This can cause you to have a harder time going to sleep.
Electronics emit blue light and it can trick your brain into thinking that it is daytime and that you should be awake. The best way to avoid blue light is to turn off all your electronic devices at least one hour before bed. This will allow your brain to filter out any blue light and you can then begin to prepare for bed.
Lower the temperature of your room: Often your body will have an easier time going to sleep when it is cool. This is due to lower body temperatures causing us to achieve a deeper sleep. It is recommended that the temperature be at/or around 65 degrees Fahrenheit to be a good temperature to help you sleep better. If this is too cold or too warm for you, then test different temperatures and find which works best to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep in darkness: As stated earlier regarding blue light, any light source can trick your brain into staying awake. For this reason, it is best to try to sleep in darkness so that you can fall asleep easier. Though turning off your bedroom lights is a good place to start, light still might be able to come in through other sources. It is for this reason that you might want to pull your curtains or blinds in front of your windows at night. This way even when the morning does arrive you will not be bothered by the outside light.
Limit the length of your naps to thirty minutes or less: Sometimes we all need to take a nap in the afternoon or the early evening to help us finish off the remainder of the day. When you wake up, we might feel refreshed and ready to finish off the day strong, but by nighttime when it is time to sleep you may not be able to sleep.
A good way to still get a nap in, but to avoid it affecting your sleep schedule, is to limit the length of your naps. Instead of taking a longer nap, try a shorter one between twenty to thirty minutes.
This will allow your mind and body some time to rest, but is not long enough to affect your sleep schedule. If a twenty-minute nap is too long for you, try a ten-minute nap. Make sure you get enough rest both during your nap and during the night to get a healthy amount of sleep.
Sleeping is an important part of our health and one that can become a struggle once insomnia sets in. It is best to try out several of the tips mentioned above to figure out what works best. You can use more than one of these tips or adapt them to suit your needs. In the end, the goal is to make sure that you get a healthy night’s sleep.
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