If you constantly feel like you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that anywhere from 10-30% of the world’s population struggles with insomnia or some type of sleep problem. While you’re supposed to get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep each night, that amount can seem almost laughable to those who struggle with it.
People have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons. Maybe you feel like you can’t get comfortable or you just have too much on your mind. Maybe, no matter how hard you seem to try, the peace of a good night’s rest just doesn’t seem to come.
Whatever the case, there are things you can do each day to get a better night’s sleep each night. In doing so, you don’t have to wake up feeling exhausted or crash in the middle of the day because your mind and body aren’t well-rested.
With that in mind, let’s look at five tips you can use right away to get more sleep each night and to make sure it’s quality sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed.
- Cut Down on Blue Light Exposure
How often throughout the day are you looking at a phone, computer, or tablet? For most of us, the answer is probably quite frequently. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, you might want to consider turning off your electronic devices an hour or two before you go to bed.
These electronics emit something called “blue light”. This type of light can mess up your circadian rhythm and cause your brain to think it’s still daytime. So, if you’re checking your phone right before you go to bed, your brain might still be wide awake because of the light, making it harder to fall asleep right away.
A good rule of thumb is to unplug before bed and to give yourself time to relax and unwind without using devices that will stimulate your brain.
- Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Many people utilize caffeine as a way to wake up in the morning, or they have a cup of coffee or energy drink in the afternoon. While that afternoon jolt can give you more energy to push through your day, it could be the very thing keeping you up at night.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others. Try to cut yourself off from ingesting any after 2 pm each day. That should give your body plenty of time to process it, and it shouldn’t interfere with your sleep cycle.
- Develop a Sleep Routine
Do you find yourself going to bed whenever you feel like it and waking up the same way? If so, that lack of routine could be one of the major problems with your lack of sleep.
Developing a nighttime routine to get ready for bed will put your mind and body in the right mood. The same routine will indicate that it’s time for sleep, and your body will start to adjust to that.
You don’t have to have a specific bedtime routine in place. For some people, it might include light stretching, reading a book, and turning off the light. For others, it may include meditation and washing their face.
Whatever routine you come up with, try to be consistent with it each day. That includes a morning routine as well, starting out with waking up at the same time each day. In doing so, you’re training your mind and body to sleep at a certain time and be awake at a certain time.
- Consider a Natural Sleep Aid
Because so many people have trouble sleeping, there are both prescription and over-the-counter medications that you can take to help you. One of the most popular is melatonin, as it can help your brain to understand that it’s time to relax. Melatonin is great because it’s a natural hormone and completely safe.
If you’re interested in other natural sleep aids, the best herbs that improve sleep include:
- Valerian root
- Lemon balm
Natural sleep aids are wonderful because they’re safe to use, most people don’t experience any negative side effects, and they can be incredibly effective in helping you to get a good night’s rest without having to give in to prescription medication with unknown ingredients.
- Create the Optimal Sleeping Space
Have you ever thought that perhaps your bedroom could be one of the causes of your sleep trouble?
Just like it’s important to have a nighttime routine, it’s important to have the right sleeping environment. The first rule is that your bedroom should only be for sleeping. You shouldn’t be reading or looking at your phone, or even watching television in there. Save those activities for a different room.
You can maximize your bedroom’s sleep environment by trying things like:
- Minimizing external noise
- Painting it calming, neutral colors
- Not using artificial lighting
- Keeping it clean and organized
The smallest things can end up making a big difference when it comes to how you feel in your bedroom. For example, even the temperature can cause you to sleep better or worse. In fact, some studies have suggested that your bedroom temperature can impact your sleep even more than a noisy room.
Choose a temperature that is most comfortable for you for your room. It can be a little on the cool side, but try to avoid going too hot, as that can make you uncomfortable and you might have a hard time staying asleep.
Finding Your Sleep Solution
Again, if you have trouble sleeping every night, you’re certainly not alone. But, you also don’t need to continue to struggle. These particular tips might not solve all of your sleeping problems in one day. But, by putting them into practice, you can develop better sleeping habits and increase your chances of getting more restful nights.
The bottom line is to do things that work best for you when it comes to your comfort levels. When you embrace some of these ideas, you might find that you look forward to bedtime more than ever.