Are you struggling to get to sleep? You are not alone
Are you struggling to get to sleep? You are not alone, but there are ways to enhance your sleep hygiene. Read on to find out ways to sleep better, without resorting to sleep medication.
Getting sufficient amounts and quality of sleep is a difficult task these days, and it can be very hard when life is very stressful on your end. However, you are not alone, and it is a problem that is affecting so many people, who simply choose to endure it in silence.
According to data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for instance, more than 30 percent of adults in the United States alone sleep less than six hours every night. This is bad news, considering the increase of certain illnesses and conditions like high blood pressure – the benefits of sleep also extend to your heart health, improving memory and weight loss.
It is important to improve your sleep habits, but you do not need to go for expensive medication just to get a good night’s rest. Here are some natural ways to accomplish that.
Develop sleep routines
Sleep routines are not just for young children as they grow up – they are also important in later years to help you sleep better.
Even though it may seem like a tempting option, getting to sleep in until 11 a.m. or noon on weekends will only serve to disrupt your sleep rhythm and lead to more issues when you try to fall asleep at night. Make sure you set a definite time for sleeping and waking up, and this should even apply on weekends and holidays when you are off work or school.
The benefit of this comes in the long term – your body gets to establish a sleep-wake clock, and you will reduce the time you spend tossing and turning in bed. In addition, you will wake up in the morning feeling refreshed more often than not.
You hear all the time how exercise helps you stay fit, but do you know it can improve your sleep hygiene?
A research study done by the Neurobiology and Physiology department of Northwestern University revealed that sedentary adults who started incorporating exercise routines four days a week started to get better quality of sleep than they did before. They also experienced fewer symptoms of depression, less sleepiness during the day, improved concentration, and greater vitality.
One thing to keep in mind though – avoid exercising just before bed. Make sure to wrap up all activities a few hours before, so that the body has enough time to relax and get a restful sleep time.
Change up your diet
You are what you eat, but your diet also plays a role in your sleep. Make sure to eliminate chocolate, tea, coffee, and soft drinks by the time mid-afternoon arrives.
Eating habits should improve as well – do not eat heavy dinners, as the body will still be trying to break them down while you sleep and lead to bloating. In addition, make sure you finish your food some hours before you go to bed. Avoid taking heavy meals or spicy ones, since they can increase the problem of indigestion or heartburns.
Smoking is bad for your health due to a myriad of reasons. It also affects your sleep negatively as well, especially when you consider its long term effects.
A study found that smokers have higher chances of feeling that they have not rested enough, by up to four times more than non-smokers. This may most likely be due to the stimulant effects of nicotine, as well as withdrawal symptoms that happen at night. Smoking also increases the likelihood of sleep apnea, in addition to other disorders like asthma, which make it hard to get quality sleep.
This may seem strange – after all, alcohol helps you sleep, right? Not really.
Alcohol may help you sleep quickly, but it interferes with the brain waves by prolonging REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep instead of deep sleep. This is the stage of sleep where you get dreams, but it is not supposed to be very long. Alcohol therefore leaves you more tired in the morning when you wake up. Moreover, once you wake up, it becomes very hard to fall back asleep.
Another reason to avoid nightcaps is because heavy consumption of alcohol is a major contributor to sleep apnea, because the muscles in the neck relax and close the airways momentarily – which is why alcohol drinkers also tend to snore a lot. The ore alcohol you take, the stronger the effects are, so stick to one or two drinks at most.
Reduce your exposure to light before bed
You may not be aware of it, but electronics are part of the reason you may be struggling to fall asleep. The light that a television, computer and even your phone emits inhibits the production of melatonin; a hormone the brain produces to induce sleep.
Make sure to limit your use of these devices an hour or two before you go to bed, to help the brain to wind down. This will also help you sleep faster and more soundly.
Occupy most of the bed
If you are the owner of a pet, one of the worst mistakes you can commit is letting your pet join you in bed while you sleep. According to a study, almost 53 percent of people who own pets find it very hard to sleep every night. The same goes for sleeping with children next to you, which affects more than 80 percent of adults.
Kids and pets can be some of the worst culprits when it comes to bed hogs, and they also make the worst sleepers. It is a better idea to make a separate sleeping space for them – they deserve the comfort, and it will help you sleep better. Just keep them out of your space – the bed is yours.
Sleep is good, and it is important to prioritize it by improving your sleeping habits. If you find yourself struggling with it due to certain habits even when using a good mattress such as dreamcloud, these tips will help you to correct them and sleep better.