I’m sure you are well aware of just how incredibly important it is to get a good night’s sleep. A restful night helps your brain and body to function normally and it makes you feel good.
I hate it when people tell me that they can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I myself, and I’m sure many of you have extreme difficulty in falling asleep, and actually managing to stay asleep throughout the night.
If you’re not getting a decent night’s rest this can impact you both physically and mentally. You may find that you struggle with your memory and learning, your emotions are generally all over the place, and your body and numerous biological functions feel out of kilter.
Therefore, in this article I’ll like to provide you with some awesome yet simple tips to get a better sleep.
One of the Ways to Sleep Better – Think About Body Temperature
Did you know that your body temperature changes when you fall asleep?
Your core temperature will decrease whereas the temperature of your hands and feet increases (this should go a long way to explain why you sometimes pull the covers over yourself because your shivering but need to keep your feet exposed.)
It’s important to keep your bedroom at a cool temperature and I suggest setting a thermostat between 15C-23C.
You may wish to take a warm bath or shower before bedtime. While your body cools down afterwards, this can send a signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep.
Setting a Routine May Be One of the Best Tips to a Better Sleep
You should always give yourself about 30-60 minutes to wind down before bed. Yes, this means no TV, electronic gadgets, eating or drinking during this period. This is your opportunity to relax completely and get yourself ready for a great night’s sleep.
Get yourself into a specific routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time every singe day, including weekends.
This aids circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock, which helps you feel awake and alert during the day, and sleepy at night.
Your body will eventually adjust to this routine making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day.
Try the 4-7-8- Technique
The 4-7-8 technique promotes calmness and helps to relax the nervous system:
- Firstly place the tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth.
- Empty the lungs of air and make “whoosh” sound.
- Close your mouth and breath in quietly through the nose, while mentally counting to 4.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Open your mouth and exhale forcefully, once again making a “whoosh” sound, while mentally counting to 8.
- Repeat for a total of 3-4 times.
Is Stress Stopping You From Falling Asleep?
Stress can be a major factor in falling asleep. There are various relaxation techniques you may wish to try throughout the day to lower your levels of stress:
- Yoga helps to relax the mind and body and releases tension and stress.
- Meditation calms the mind and can enhance melatonin levels which will aid sleep.
- Mindfulness helps you focus on the present and worry less about past experiences or future problems (such as worrying about sleep).
Clock Watching is Your Enemy
People who suffer from insomnia typically clock watch.
Waking up during the night and checking the time can cause anxiety about the fact you can’t sleep.
Remove all clocks away from you. Turn your phone over on its front to remove this distraction if you do wake up during the night.
Set an alarm if you need to, but don’t keep a clock or your phone near the bed.
Are Your Eating Habits Affecting How You Sleep at Night?
What you eat before bed can have an adverse effect on sleep.
A high carb/low fat diet will make you feel tired and fall asleep faster, but it won’t be a restful night’s sleep.
A low carb/high fat (healthy fats) diet, with the same number of calories, promotes a deeper and more restful sleep.
If you do have a high carb meal this should be consumed at least 4 hours before bedtime so that your body has time to digest it.
Napping Can Be Both Good and Bad For Your Sleep
Taking a nap during the day can sometimes be a good thing, but should be limited to no more than 30 minutes.
Napping for longer periods, say 2 hours or more, or late in the day (6pm-9pm) can lead to a poor quality of sleep at night.
People with insomnia tend to feel sleepy during the day and are more prone to napping.
Are You Getting Enough (or Too Much) Exercise During the Day?
It has been scientifically proven that physical activity is linked to healthy sleeping habits.
Exercise increases the production of serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain and decreases levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).
However, too much exercise and overtraining can lead to a poor night’s sleep. Therefore, you should aim to exercise at a moderate intensity (for your fitness levels) on a regular basis.
The time of day at which you workout can also have an effect on sleep. Working out in the morning is better for sleep quality than working out later in the day. This also means that you can up the intensity of your early morning workouts, as this can vastly improve your overall sleep quality.
Relaxing Music Can Improve Sleep Quality
Music has been used for many years as one form of treatment for insomnia and other chronic sleep disorders.
It is said that listening to sedative and soothing music 30-45 minutes before bedtime can promote deep sleep.
Listening to music before going to bed is a far better option than watching TV, playing video games or on electronic gadgets, or just about any other activity you may do towards the end of the night.
Get Your Thoughts Down On Paper
One of the very best tips to a better sleep that I can attest to is journaling. I’m sure many of you find your mind racing just before you’re due to go to sleep. Overthinking and racing thoughts will definitely keep you awake at night.
However, by focusing on positive thoughts and good things that happened to you during the day you can put yourself in a far better frame of mind.
Journaling is also used as a way to get everything out of your head onto paper, literally a brain dump, of both positive and negative thoughts. I would suggest this form of journaling is best completed first thing in the morning after you wake up and keep it positive for night-time journaling.
You should also be using a pen and paper (yes they still exist) rather than electronic equipment. I like to focus on gratitude and the positive things that happened during my day. You should spend no longer that 10-15 minutes journaling.
That’s a Wrap Folks!
If you’re having trouble falling asleep most nights I’m sure you’re finding it extremely frustrating, but it is also affecting your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you can follow some, or even all, of these 10 ways to sleep better I’m sure it will have a positive impact on your life.