Everybody should be able to harness the benefits of a good night’s sleep. After all, sleeping isn’t difficult. Yet, around 35% of people battle to sleep soundly or fall asleep when they’d like to.
Here’s how you can beat insomnia and restless nights by mastering the art of perfect sleep.
- Watch Your Diet
Your eating habits have an overwhelming effect on how well you sleep. Caffeine and nicotine can hang around in your system for 12 hours or more.
Both of these substances are stimulants, making it difficult for your brain to shut down in preparation for a good night’s rest. Sugar and refined carbohydrates have the same effect. Try to limit your intake of these foods.
Eating a large meal at night keeps your digestive system busy for hours after you want to retire. Try to eat more than two hours before bedtime and avoid spicy, acidic, rich and heavy meals at night.
A nightcap might seem like it’s a solution for deep sleep, but it also may interrupt your natural sleep cycle. Drinking any liquids before bedtime may also result in a disruptive trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Regular Exercise
Even a little bit of exercise every day will help you sleep better as long as your workout isn’t within three hours of when you want to turn in.
If you miss your workout during the day, low-impact activities like yoga or stretching in the evening can help promote healthy sleep.
- Regulate Your Exposure to Light
Darkness is essential for effective sleep. When your brain notices that nightfall is approaching, it starts to release melatonin, the sleep hormone. This helps to prepare your body for sleep.
Light has the opposite effect of energizing your body in preparation for a new day.
It’s easy to see how electric lighting in the evenings can send mixed signals to your brain, and inhibit the production of melatonin.
Give your mind time to register that it’s dark before you go to sleep. Avoid television and other sources of bright light for at least 2 hours before bedtime and ensure that your room is dark when you want to go to sleep.
- Create the Perfect Sleep Environment
Darkness is only the first step in ensuring your bedroom environment is conducive to good sleep. Ensuring that your room is quiet and cool are two other factors that can help you get a better night’s rest.
A good mattress is essential for good sleep. Always buy the best mattress you can afford. If possible, invest in a mattress that suits your sleeping style.
For example, stomach sleepers need an exceptionally firm mattress to avoid tossing and turning due to back and neck strain.
- Obey Your Body
Don’t try to fight your body’s natural sleep cycles. Try to stick to the same sleep routines every day. Times are important, not the number of hours that you sleep.
That means sleeping in is a bad idea, so is an afternoon nap on the weekend.
If you find that a nap helps to make up for lost sleep the night before, limit these siestas to 20 minutes or less.
- Set Up Routines
When your mind goes round in circles worrying about the day’s events when you’re trying to sleep it’s a sign that you need more routine in your life.
Set up specific times for performing routine tasks like checking messages. Focus on one task at a time during the day. When you constantly jump from one task to another, you’re causing anxiety. It’s difficult to wind down when you’ve taught yourself to be in a constant state of mental motion.
A relaxing night time bedtime ritual sends signals to your subconscious about what comes next – deep, peaceful sleep.
- Learn to Get Back to Sleep
Some people have no trouble drifting off but tend to wake up in the night and stay awake. If this is your problem, there are a few things you can do to help yourself get back to sleep:
The most important one is not to worry about falling asleep again. Instead, lap up the chance to relax.
Relaxation or breathing exercises can help you drift off to sleep before you expect to.
Forget About It
If you haven’t fallen asleep within 15 minutes, get up and try another relaxing activity like reading a book. Be sure to keep the lights low and avoid looking at computer or TV screens.
When you start to feel sleepy, get back into bed.
Plan to Worry Later
Maybe your brain goes into overdrive the minute you wake up. In this case, write down these nagging thoughts and vow to look at them in the morning when your mind is clear.
Knowing that you’ve planned to address these issues will help you go back to sleep.
- Take Something
Nobody wants to pop sleeping pills to help them sleep but there are other things you can consume to help you sleep better.
Try some of the following:
- Chamomile tea
- Magnesium or Valerian supplements
- Lavender oil capsules
- Passionflower tea
Some people find that a warm, relaxing bath can help them to ease into sleep better too.
If All Else Fails
If you’ve tried all these tips and nothing seems to work, you may have a physical problem that’s disrupting our sleep patterns. Speak to your doctor about your problem. The issue could stem from something simple like one of the medications you’re taking.
Other causes of sleeplessness include anxiety, allergies, acid reflux, and sleep apnea. If your doctor can’t get to the bottom of your problem, they may refer you to a sleep specialist.
Whether you’re after the key to perfect sleep or a way to lose those extra pounds, there’s a natural solution. Keep reading our blog for more easy and affordable answers for your day-to-day dilemmas.