Sleep plays a vital role in your overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get the quality or amount of sleep they need. Whether this struggle is chronic or short term, it can have an immediate impact on a person's quality of life. If you are experiencing difficulty falling asleep at night or if you are unsatisfied with your sleep quality, consider experimenting with these 13 simple tips.
Make Sleep A Priority
One of the easiest ways to improve your sleep is to simply make it a priority. Remember, you need sleep, so pick a time you want to go to bed and stick with it.
Do you remember how much you hated having a bedtime as a child? If you are having trouble falling asleep at night or you are unsatisfied with the quality of sleep you are getting, try creating a "sleep schedule" by which you go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Resist the urge to take a nap during the day. As refreshing as it may feel at the time, even a short nap can throw off your sleep schedule. Within a week, both falling asleep and waking up should be easier for you. The one downside to establishing a sleep schedule is that it can be difficult to deviate from it when the opportunity presents itself, such as weekends or holidays.
Your nightly routine can be short and simple, starting just 15 minutes before you go to bed, or it can start early in the evening and last several hours. Include any end-of-night activities that you always do, such as letting the dog out, washing your face, brushing your teeth or reading. The key is consistency.
Being active does not require a gym membership, an intensive workout or even breaking a sweat; it simply requires that you do something. You have to give your body a reason to be tired at the end of the day.
There isn't a universal cut-off time for stimulants because each person responds to stimulants differently. Some people have to cut out caffeine early in the afternoon in order to sleep at night, while other people are able to consume caffeine in the evening and still sleep soundly. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night, try cutting out stimulants earlier in the day.
Limit Drinks At Night
As important as it is to stay hydrated, you should drink more during the day and limit your drinking in the evening. The more you drink at night, the more likely your sleep is to be interrupted by a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip.
Start adjusting your lighting approximately two hours before going to bed. If your lights are on a dimmer, you can simply turn them down. Avoid ceiling lights all together and opt for smaller, less-intense wall sconces or lamps. When it comes time to sleep, make your bedroom as dark as possible.
Noise requirements will vary from person to person. Some people need complete silence to fall asleep and may even use ear plugs to help drown out background noise, while other people prefer or even require some form of background noise in order to fall asleep.
Put Away The Electronics
Electronics can affect sleep in a negative way. In addition to disrupting your circadian rhythm, electronics can be stimulating and time consuming. Try putting away your electronic devices an hour before going to bed. If you insist on using electronics in bed, such as an e-reader or tablet, dim the screen as much as possible.
Your comfort level can directly impact your sleep quality, so it is important that your mattress, pillows, bedding and even the clothes you sleep in are comfortable. Struggling to get comfortable in bed at night or waking up feeling sore may indicate that your mattress needs to be replaced.
Few things make falling asleep more challenging than a racing mind, stress or anxiety. While it may be easier said than done, being in a relaxed state will make falling asleep easier. Choose whatever relaxation techniques work for you such as a hot bubble bath, meditating, reading a book, listening to music or writing in a journal.
Aromatherapy may not work for everyone, but if you are struggling to fall asleep at night, it may be worth a try. You can get as elaborate as you would like with aromatherapy, though it can also be as simple as lighting a scented candle or adding a few drops of essential oil to your bath.
Sleep is important to your overall health and well-being. If home remedies and lifestyle changes are not effective, perhaps you should consult a healthcare provider for an assessment. Urgent Clinics Medical Care offers qualified, friendly healthcare professionals who provide thorough physical examinations, including blood work to determine if an underlying illness is at fault. No appointment is necessary at any of our clinics which are open 8 am to 9 pm daily and are conveniently located in Champions Forest, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Our Pearland Clinic is open 8 am to midnight 7 days a week.