If you have a hard time sleeping, falling asleep and/or staying asleep, you’re not alone. Here are some tips that can definitely help you!
An estimated 70 million Americans are awake each night right along with you. We live in a sleep-deprived society and most people can relate to your chronic tiredness due to lack of sleep.
There are several medical conditions that cause sleep loss, like restless leg syndrome and chronic insomnia. But most of the sleep loss we experience is caused by our own habits.
The demands of work, family, and everyday life push us to do more on less sleep, and that is counterproductive.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes us to be less productive, decreases focus, and slows down our reaction time.
Other side effects of sleep deprivation include irritability, weight gain, and depression.
So how can you end sleep deprivation, awake feeling refreshed and be more productive? Let’s find out!
Tips For Those Having A Hard Time Sleeping
Here are the things that you should do every night so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer:
1. Wind-Down Routine
Develop a nightly routine that will help you wind down after a long, stressful day. Start this routine about two hours prior to bedtime and do it every night, including weekends.
The routine will vary from person to person, but it should include things that help you relax.
Take a warm bath or shower, brush teeth, and do all the other nightly health and beauty rituals you’re accustomed to. Close the blinds, crate the dog, pack lunch for kids, etc.
Whatever you do just before going to bed, start doing it at the same time every night. Your body will quickly adjust to the routine and send a signal to the brain to release the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, so your body will prepare for sleep.
2. Avoid Caffeinated Products Before Bedtime
Stop caffeine intake at least 4 hours before bedtime. This includes soda, chocolate, tea, and coffee. Enjoy a light bedtime snack, but nothing that contains caffeine.
3. Work Our Earlier
Do not include a workout during your nighttime routine. Your internal body clock prepares you to sleep by lowering body temperature. And exercise raises body temperature.
The increased heart rate for exercising also energizes you by pumping more blood and oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. This will result in you being wide awake and having a hard time sleeping.
If you must workout in the evenings, do so at least 4 hours before bedtime so your body will have time to cool down.
4. Use Sleep Aids If You Have A Really Hard Time Sleeping
There are many helpful sleep aids on the market that may be beneficial to you. There are natural remedies, over-the-counter sleep aids, and prescription medication that can be used as part of your nightly wind-down routine.
Sleep aids can be purchased at your local pharmacy, and come in pill form and capsule.
Some people prefer sleep patches that are applied externally to the skin and deliver a steady amount of melatonin throughout the night. External patches also contain herbs, minerals and other natural ingredients that promote restful sleep.
The scent of lavender is a natural sleep-inducing aroma that comes in many different forms and helps you relax.
An Aloe Vera plant promotes better sleep by helping to keep the air clean in your bedroom. Aloe Vera is different from most plants – it takes in carbon dioxide during the day and releases oxygen at night. The cleaner air reduces nighttime allergy symptoms and helps you breathe easier.
Talk to your doctor about prescription sleep aids that may be of help to you.
5. Turn Off All Electronics
All electronics emit a ‘blue light’. We don’t really distinguish the blue light from any other light consciously, but our brain responds to it subconsciously.
The blue light causes the brain to stop the production of melatonin. Without the production of melatonin, the natural sleep/wake cycle of our body is disrupted.
The reduction in melatonin production causes us to have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep.
Turn off all cell phones, tablets, gaming devices, television at least 2 hours before bedtime. Remove the electronic devices from your bedroom so you won’t be tempted to do a quick email check before lying down.
Reading in bed is an age-old tradition because it helps people fall asleep. Lay the phone down and pick up a good book to help you get a better night of sleep.
There is help for your sleeplessness that can range from a simple change in schedule to medical intervention. Develop a nightly wind-down routine, use sleep aids, and turn off all electronics before bedtime.
If you still have a hard time sleeping, continue to seek help until you find something that works for you. There is a solution to every problem; you just have to find the one that works for you.