Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is vitally important for good health. Studies have shown that lack of sleep contributes to everything from a simple sluggish feeling felt throughout your day to an increased risk of heart attack.
Being tired weakens your immune system, makes you less productive and puts you at greater risk of making critical mistakes or having serious accidents in our daily lives. But what do you do if you’re trying desperately to get a good night’s sleep but still not getting one?
Many people experience trouble sleeping from time to time, despite their best efforts. The day to day tasks of lives sometimes can get to us and cause a feeling of uneasiness, once you lay in bed. Fortunately, there are some things you can to do to get your sleeping schedule back on track.
Here’s 10 Tips to Get a Good Night’s Sleep:
- Watch what you eat in the evenings. A huge dinner meal with a carb-laden dessert or snack later might make you feel sleepy, but it really doesn’t do your sleeping schedule any good. Sugar will give you a serious hit of energy before you crash, and the sleep that you get once you’re anesthetized by the food will most likely be more restless and maybe even interrupted through the night.
- Avoid caffeine as much as possible. If you must have that morning coffee, cut yourself off in the afternoon. At the very least, stop consuming anything containing caffeine anywhere from 3 to 5 hours before you’d like to go to sleep—the longer, the better. Don’t forget that those fancy coffee drinks that taste more like a dessert than coffee are still packed with an ample amount of caffeine. Don’t forget caffeine related soft drinks those contain enough caffeine to keep you awake, as well. Try an herbal tea designed to promote sleepiness an hour or so before bed.
- Avoid mental stimulants and stress. Avoid anything that excites you or perks you up including video games, television programs, work, exercise or even suspense novels that might get your blood racing. About 2 hours before you’d like to go to sleep, start avoiding these types of things so your body gets the sense that it’s time to slow down and be calm. If you exercise in the evening, switch to an afternoon or mid-morning run.
- Use your bed for nothing but sleep. If you like to watch TV in bed, spend your evening TV watching time in the living room instead. Don’t work, pay bills or do anything potentially stressful in bed, either. This makes it harder for your mind to associate your bed with sleep and rest.
- Remove work. If you have a desk overflowing with work and things to be done in your bedroom, consider moving it so you’re not subconsciously aware of all that’s left to do every time you try to go to sleep.
- Take a warm shower before bedtime. Taking a hot bath or shower an hour or two before bed, this can help open up your pores and relax your body.
- Set a routine. Focus on going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, and establish a bedtime routine that starts an hour or two before your bedtime to train your body to start winding things down.
- Watch your naps. Be smart with your naps during the day, Naps are a great way to recharge your system, but they can also affect your sleep cycle in a negative way.
- Make your room black. Turn off all lights and ambient noise in your room. Extra light and loud noises can cause the body to stir and stay up into the long hours of the night.
- Take out the clock. A clock facing you can sometimes cause you to stare at it in the most stressful of circumstances causing you to stay away and stress over what time it is.
Any serious sleep problems should be discussed with your doctor and medication should only be used as a last resort. But in many cases, the changes listed above can lead to the better night’s sleep that you desperately need and more importantly a sleep experience that you deserve.
[box type=”note”]Editor’s note: Though some people think that consuming alcohol makes them feel drowsy, alcohol can act as a stimulant too. It also has negative effects on the quality of your sleep, so it should also be avoided six hours prior to going to bed if you want to maintain proper sleep hygiene.[/box]
Cole Watts writes on behalf of US Medical Supplies one of the largest online suppliers of medical equipment for the home including lift chairs, adjustable beds, and stair lifts.