Sometimes, even when you really crave it, sleep is hard to get. We’ve tried every remedy and trick out there, from scientifically-proven facts to the speculation of anonymous internet users.
We’ve compiled a list of practical and effective sleep tips:
Get comfortable. Every little thing helps. Make sure the temperature is right for you. Most people sleep best between 65 and 72 degrees, but that can vary substantially depending on the person; do what feels best. Your pillow should provides adequate support for both your head and neck. A mattress can be a big expense, however having one that provides you with the gratification of good sleep is priceless.
Exercise promotes deep quality sleep. Your brain compensates for physical stress by increasing the amount of time you sleep. Physical activity can also encourage sleep in that it causes one’s body temperature to rise and then fall by an equal amount hours later. This drop in your body temperature makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep (timing can be crucial).
Develop a schedule that works for you and stick with it. Stop staying up late to finish that B-movie that just came on TV and avoid sleeping in on those lazy Saturdays. A consistent schedule will improve your ability to get a good night’s sleep. In addition, a pre-sleep routine can help. Try listening to calming music, reading a book, or any other relaxing activity that will prepare your mind and body for sleep.
Watch what you’re putting in your body. Everything you eat or drink (or otherwise ingest) affects you in significant ways that can impede quality sleep. Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine all wreck havoc on your slumber. Even eating a meal shortly before attempting to sleep can keep you up; digesting food requires a lot of energy.
Regulate your sleep-wake cycle by emulating your exposure to light. Increase exposure to sunlight during the day and then reduce exposure to light-emitting objects (light bulbs, iPads, televisions etc) in the evening hours to achieve a more consistent and healthy sleep cycle.
Concentrate on breathing deeply, slowly and regularly. Do only what is absolutely comfortable and continue, until… zzz…
Avoid over-the-counter sleep medication. These unfortunately do not cure insomnia. In fact, they can often exacerbate the problem and make sleeping more difficult in the long run.
Press the reset button. Have something troubling on your mind that’s keeping you up till the early hours of the morning? Try having a glass of warm milk. Focus on the comfortable bed and rest that awaits you while you pick something to read. Crawl back into bed with your book and read until your eyes get heavy and your troubles have been put aside. Yes, go ahead, try counting sheep; it can help you to keep from concentrating on the things that are keeping you awake. This is an immediate and temporary solution; stress management is a long-term commitment that requires a plan. Get organized, set priorities and try to do things that you enjoy more often if you’re feeling over-burdened. Talk to someone.
Hopefully these sleep tips will help you get the best rest possible tonight. Sweet dreams!