Trouble Sleeping? Try these Easy Tips!
Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you wake in the middle of the night, only to toss and turn?
Insufficient sleep plagues many people, with the CDC reporting that 1 in 3 people do not get enough sleep each night. The average person spends roughly one-third of every day in bed. Unfortunately, a lot of people also spend nights tossing and turning, checking the clock, and fretting over how much sleep they will actually get before the alarm goes off.
If you have trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you get a healthy night’s sleep!
Stay active during the day so that your body will be tired by nightfall. Get exercise, so that by evening your body will start to wind down. Recent studies emphasize the importance of moderate aerobic exercise. It is believed to help reduce the time it takes people to fall asleep, and increases the length of sleep.
Stress is a catalyst for lack of sleep, so reduce your daily stress. Stress causes insomnia by making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Many people lose sleep over thoughts of problems they encountered during the day, such as the way they handled a situation or over something that they said or did.
Watch your caffeine intake. Even a harmless cup of coffee in the late afternoon can take a negative toll on sleep cycles. You’re not safe with decaffeinated choices either, because tests show that some decaf brands may actually contain enough caffeine to keep you awake. Limit soda intake too, as most varieties – even root beer and orange soda – may contain caffeine. Do not eat chocolate late at night, especially dark chocolate which contains more caffeine than milk chocolate.
Eat a healthy dinner early and skip the bedtime snack. Food consumed after 6 pm can cause gastro issues, such as upset tummy, reflux, or heartburn that can make sleep impossible. One exception? Drink warm milk before bedtime. Warm milk may actually help some people sleep because it contains tryptophan, an amino acid, which helps to induce sleep.
Avoid alcohol. Studies show that while alcohol allows healthy people to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeply, it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this period of sleep, your brain and body are energized and dreaming occurs. REM is believed to stimulate regions of the brain that are used for learning. People who lack REM sleep may exhibit trouble remembering what they were taught before going to sleep.
Be consistent by going to bed at the same time each night, and rising at the same time, too. This is because our bodies work on a biological clock system, meaning that our bodies use an innate mechanism that controls our physiological (bodily) activities. Keeping regular cycles matters.
Overstimulation can delay sleep. Make your bedroom a place to retreat. Do not turn it into a television zone or put a computer in the room. Not only do those activities send confusing messages to your brain at night, they are also big killers of romance.
Set the mood. Make sure you have window coverings that keep the light out, as studies show that people get a better night’s sleep when they slumber in complete darkness. Use a soft sleep mask if the room is not dark enough. If its too quiet, turn on a fan, invest in a sound machine, or download a white noise app for your smart phone.
If snoring keeps you up, see a doctor. Newer and more comfortable sleep masks are available for people who may suffer from sleep apnea, a serious disorder in which a person’s breathing pattern is interrupted during sleep. If you feel tired after sleeping all night, or your spouse complains of your snoring, check with your doctor about getting a sleep test to rule out sleep apnea. If its your spouse who keeps you up, ask them to visit a doctor.
If you are still unable to sleep, get out of bed, sit in a comfortable chair, and read. Turn on a gentle non-stimulating light and read until you feel tired. Increasingly, bedtime reading is being recommended by doctors for patients who can’t sleep because it is considered to be a relaxing activity. Researchers in England conducted studies which show that reading reduces stress by causing people to enter an altered state of consciousness leading to a good night’s sleep.
If all else fails, and you continue to have sleepless nights, see your doctor for a medical check-up to make sure that there are no serious physical or psychological causes. Never self-medicate with sleeping pills or sleep supplements without the advice of your doctor.
*Results May Vary