Recently, have you noticed yourself watching the clock at night, hoping and wishing that you would just fall asleep soon? As you repeatedly open and close your eyes, you almost plead out into the darkness for some shuteye. And then you wake up with little sleep, crusty eyes, and a bit of a cranky mood.
If you are currently experiencing this or have ever experienced it, then you know how much a bad night’s sleep can put you off for the whole day. Sleep issues can unfortunately lead to poor performance at work and interfere with your concentration levels (1). So, are there things you can do to sleep better at night? The answer is yes, there are!
To start, it is necessary to think about what factors in your life might be disrupting your sleep. You might notice that you have been feeling particularly stressed for the past few weeks, whether it is about a decline in business sales or final exams in school. Or, perhaps you have been anxious about the changes happening around you and are not sure how to respond. Once your mind hones in on these stressors, it switches into a sort of protective mode and makes it harder for you to filter through your thoughts. Therefore, the disrupted sleep is a natural response that your body has to the stress (2).
Good sleep helps people better handle situations that arise and supports our immune systems. It can help you exercise better, moderate your food intake, and live a bit healthier life overall (1). In order to improve your sleep quality, it is helpful if you figure out ways to make sleep come easier.
Check out the following tips on how to get better, more restful sleep:
1. Go to sleep around the same time every day. It helps to go to sleep and wake up at the same time throughout the week. By doing this, your body makes regular use of its circadian rhythm, the body’s natural clock that regulates sleep.
2. Get some morning light exposure when you can. When you get up in the morning, it is beneficial to open up your blinds and let the morning light filter in. This also plays a role in maintaining your circadian rhythm, helping you to stay awake during the day and to fall asleep at night.
3. Take vitamins and minerals that help you sleep. There are many supplements on the market that have been shown to help people sleep, such as melatonin, magnesium, and vitamin B. Taking magnesium pills, for example, has been shown to help your body relax and prepare for restful sleep.
4. Arrange your bedroom into a relaxing sleep environment. Create a comfortable space in which you can go to sleep. The quality of your mattress and pillows can impact the way you sleep. To get good sleep, you should try to minimize the amount of light, reduce the noise of the environment, and maintain a relatively cool temperature.
5. Establish a bed time ritual that calms you and prepares you for sleep. It is nice to do calming activities before you go to bed. Consider drawing, reading a book, meditating, or writing a gratitude list. These quiet, peaceful techniques are a good way to pass the time and unwind from the stress of the day.
6. Do your workouts during the day. Exercise is a good way to help reduce stress and make it easier to fall asleep at night. It is proven to support your health overall, including your sleep quality. However, be careful of when you decide to exercise. Exercise stimulates your body, causing you to feel more awake and alert. If you exercise at night, this can make it difficult for your body to fall into a sleeping state.
7. Try not to take long naps during the day. Taking long or irregular naps throughout the day can interfere with your sleep quality. Napping during the day confuses your body as to when you should be sleeping. This can make you struggle to sleep at night and have you sleeping during the day.
8. Minimize your caffeine intake throughout the day. Caffeine serves as a stimulant when ingested. As a result, caffeine can make you to feel more energetic and focused. If you consume caffeine later in the day, this will make it harder for your body to relax. By drinking less caffeinated drinks, you will be better able to adjust into the proper state to fall asleep.
9. Refrain from using electronic devices before bed. Try not to use any electronic devices within 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep. The blue light that emits from devices like your phone can delay and reduce your body’s melatonin levels, making it harder for you to fall asleep (2).
By incorporating these tips into your daily sleep routine, you can help improve your sleep quality and your health overall. A good night’s sleep is an important part of your daily health, as important as the food you eat. Sleep is essential for the healthy functioning of your body and mind.
If you are sleep-deprived for a long period of time and notice negative effects, talk to a health professional such as a sleep doctor. Over time, loss of sleep can negatively affect your health and well-being.
1. Mawer, R. (2020). 17 proven tips to sleep better at night. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better
2. Bertisch, S. (2020). Strategies to promote better sleep in these uncertain times. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/strategies-to-promote-better-sleep-in-these-uncertain-times-2020032719333
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