Trouble Sleeping? Here Are 4 Tips To Help You Get To Sleep
Are you feeling sleepy???
Sleep is something that most of us don’t get enough of. For most of us, there are so many things that need to be done and so little time in which to do them all. Because of this sometimes things such as sleep are pushed to the wayside.
It's easy to point to your schedule as the reason why you can't get enough sleep. You’re living your life and taking care of all the things that need to be done. Then by the time you get a free moment it's bedtime, and you’re not that sleepy and really don't want to go to bed just yet; you need some down time before going to bed. Then you stay up too late and the cycle continues the next night.
There could be other things keeping you from getting the sleep that you need. Maybe you have a significant other who snores or maybe you have insomnia which is defined by Medline as trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Resulting in a person having too little sleep or poor-quality sleep. Or maybe you’re experiencing a great deal of stress which is interfering with your ability to sleep.
Whatever the reason for your sleeplessness, it's important for you to make time and create an environment that will allow you to get the sleep that you need. Read on for 4 tips on how to create that right environment. Because the right sleep environment helps you to manage your stress before your stress manages you.
Remember way back in the day when your parents harassed and pestered you about bedtime? Well, it turns out that they had a point.
Instead of looking at the clock every night as it gets later and later, knowing you "really should" get to bed, just set a specific bedtime and stick with it.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine even has a bedtime calculator called Make Time 2 Sleep that you can use in order to determine the most appropriate time for you to go to sleep. Try it out by clicking here.
It’s important to set a bedtime that’s realistic for you even if that's at 12:30 am. Then try your best to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.
Another note about bedtime - if it's too early, that can cause problems too. If you find yourself falling asleep at 7 or 8pm, you may find that you wake up in the early morning hours after only 5 or 6 hours of sleep, not being able to get back to sleep or not getting sleepy until its close to the time for you to wake up.
Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. They are meant to inspire relaxation in order to induce sleep. But your bedroom may be set-up in such a way that’s not conducive to sleep.
So as you look around your bedroom, these are some things to be aware of and adjust in order to help your bedroom help you get to sleep:
Dark and cool is the rule! For having a sleepy bedroom. Darkness in particular is important to help you get a proper night's sleep. Lights from outside sources such as neighbors' homes, your screens (including the TV, phone or computer screen), lamps, and so forth can disturb your sleep patterns as their interfere with what Harvard states are the light sensitive cells in our eye’s retinas.
When it comes to temperature, cooler temperatures are said to promote sleep. If you’re hot, your body temperature rises and that can stimulate the body which prevents sleep. So it’s much better to be in a cooler (but not cold) room in order to help promote a comfortable night's sleep.
Your bed is for sleeping, not working. If you're in the habit of taking your work such as bills or other paperwork to bed, you might be inadvertently training your brain to be stimulated when you’re in your bed; as you begin to associate your bed with work.
Also, it's harder to achieve work-life balance and walk away from work worries if you literally take them to bed with you! It’s important to try to keep your work in another room, or at the very least away from your bed in another section of your bedroom.
Quiet is also key when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. If you have neighbors who are noisy, or a spouse that snores, consider using a fan or white noise machine at night to drown out disruptive sounds so that you can rest and relax.
Another way of improving your sleep hygiene is to develop a nighttime routine. Having a routine is a way of signaling to your body and mind that it’s time for bed and time to go to sleep.
There are lots of things that you can do as part of your nighttime routine:
Read a book
Listen to soothing music
Take a bath or shower
Have a warm caffeine free beverage
Create a soothing beauty ritual to take off makeup or put on night creams
Exercise at least 3 – 4 hours before bed
Reflect on the positive events of the day and the things you’re grateful for
When it comes to creating your nighttime routine, you can do one thing or a few, just make sure that whatever you do is something that you find relaxing and that you’re consistent in sticking to it.
When you’re in bed, do you have worries keeping you awake? Do you have a hard time turning off your brain?
If so, creating a list might help. Write down all of those things that are bothering you or that you can't get your mind off of or even your to-do list.
After you write these things down, you should then write down some simple and practical steps you can take during the next day or week to work those things out. The idea of this being that leaving these thoughts on paper will help you ruminate less on them in your mind so that you can get some sleep.
So there you have it 4 things that you can do to help yourself get the sleep that you need.
Let’s talk, what do you do when you can’t get to sleep? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In