Do you identify as a chronic alarm clock snoozer? Is tossing and turning your go-to nightly aerobic exercise? Do your mornings resemble the night of the living dead, as you frantically conceal dark circles and sagging eye bags? If you answered yes to any of the following questions, it’s time to enroll in Insomniacs Anonymous. Otherwise, prepare to count the minutes to your morning alarm instead of counting sheep.
Remember, sleep is incredibly vital for your health and to how you function every day. Science dictates that healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. However, many adults find it difficult to obtain those essential hours because they have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.
These sleeping issues can substantially impact your mental functions like your memory, mood, and ability to learn. While sleeping medication can help you drift off to dreamland every once in a while, you shouldn’t depend on medication long-term to help you sleep. If you’re struggling to find ways of falling asleep, here are five tips and tricks to help you find your best night’s sleep.
Swap Out the Mattress That Keeps You Tossing and Turning
If you’re waking up every morning feeling exhausted and sore, your mattress may be the culprit. With regular usage, you should replace your mattress every six to eight years. However, if you find that you have back pains or are falling asleep at your desk every day, you may need a mattress replacement. Your bed should provide you with ample spine support and help you attain restful sleep every night.
When you’re searching for the best mattress for your bed, consider investing in an organic mattress like these. In addition to being extremely comfortable and supportive, organic mattresses can significantly benefit individuals with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Unlike beds made out of synthetic materials, a mattress made out of organic materials naturally repels dust mites and is highly mold resistant.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Paying attention to your sleep hygiene is one of the most effective ways of improving your sleep quality. Many individuals that struggle with falling asleep don’t realize their poor sleep hygiene is a significant cause of their sleeping problems. Well-established sleep hygiene includes developing healthy habits that promote a comfortable bedroom environment and a calm and peaceful mind.
A vital part of sleep hygiene includes following a nightly routine. About an hour before bed, begin winding down any stimulating activities like working or watching TV. Begin your nightly rituals by ensuring all your doors and windows are locked to help you feel safe and secure. Dim your lights, and try methods of relaxation like meditation and mindfulness. Optimize your bedroom for sleeping by setting your thermostat to a cooler temperature and lighting a candle with a light, relaxing scent. With an inviting bedroom, you’ll be in the right mindset for rest and relaxation.
Establish a Regular Schedule for Your Day
Many individuals find that having a set schedule helps them fall asleep more effortlessly. Your body has an internal clock called the circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm cues your body to stay awake during the day and triggers the release of sleep hormones, like melatonin, at night. Setting your alarm to wake up at the same time every morning and choosing a time to be in bed every night can help your internal clock understand your schedule.
More than simply sleeping and waking up at the same time daily, your daily schedule has a significant impact on your sleep quality. If you tend to eat late dinners, you could be impacting your quality of sleep. It takes two to three hours to digest a meal and lying down while digesting can cause nausea and discomfort for many sleepers. That said, try to avoid scarfing down substantial amounts of food before bed and schedule your meals at the same time every day. A routine will help your circadian rhythm stay in sync.
Turn Off Your Technology
Using electronic devices before your bedtime can substantially impact your ability to have a restful night’s sleep. Watching TV, playing video games, or scrolling on your phone stimulates and engages your mind. You want your brain to be relaxed and focused on sleep, so using electronics before bed prevents your mind from entering into a sleep-centered mode.
Additionally, electronic screens emit blue light, which sends signals to your brain that promote alertness and better productivity. Blue light also suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep after you’ve been staring at a screen for hours. An hour or more before you want to sleep, turn off or put away all electronics. If you must look at a screen late a night, consider investing in blue-light-blocking glasses or turning on your device’s internal screen filter.
Breathe Your Way to Sleep
A prevalent relaxation technique, breathing exercises can help you de-stress and avoid racing thoughts before bed. By putting your brain into a relaxation mode, breathing techniques can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. One of the best options for sleeping is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This breathing technique dictates that you breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a deep, rhythmic breathing exercise that can help you fall asleep quicker and be employed whenever you feel stressed or anxious.
The Bottom Line
While it can feel frustrating to struggle with falling asleep, don’t lose hope. Finding the proper nightly routine and relaxation techniques that work for you can take time and some trial-and-error. Once you establish healthy sleep hygiene habits and a regular daily routine, you’ll find yourself waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the world every morning.