One of the biggest challenges of everyday life is to sleep well. It’s very hard to get through each day if you’re exhausted – and if you have persistent problems sleeping then it isn’t as though you can just catch up on your sleep at the weekends! Some people may have temporary problems with sleep deprivation because they have young children, but for others the issues are more permanent – and feeling as though you’re going to be exhausted forever is extremely disheartening. Here are some tips about how to start sleeping better at night – and getting a better daytime as a result of it.
If you get yourself into a night time routine then it may make falling asleep considerably easier. Get everything ready for the following day so your subconscious doesn’t feel worried about having to get things done in the morning, and make a to-do list for the following day. Make sure you turn off all your devices at least an hour before you go to bed. Televisions and phones emit blue light, which can ruin your circadian rhythms, confuse your body, and keep you awake. You could try some meditation or some gentle yoga to make yourself feel more peaceful and to alert your brain that it’s time to move more towards feeling than thinking. A warm shower or bath before bed is also a great idea. Try pampering yourself and use lavender bath oil – it has relaxing properties that will push you firmly towards sleep mode. When you get into bed, try reading your book for a few minutes until you feel sleepy. Being intimate with your partner strengthens your relationship and can also help nudge you further towards sleep.
What You Eat And Drink
In the evening, what you eat and drink before you go to bed can absolutely affect the way you sleep. We all know that caffeine wakes you up – and it’s rare that anyone would ever think to drink a cup of coffee before they go to bed! However, that also applies to tea. If you want to drink tea or coffee after your evening meal, then go for decaf. In addition, you should avoid eating sugar and drinking sugary drinks like hot chocolate, soda and juice close to your bedtime, as that might give you a sugar rush and a boost in energy and make it hard for you to fall asleep. If you find yourself having to wake up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, make sure that you don’t drink too much close to your bedtime and that you’ve been to the bathroom before you go to bed. If you do need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the light, make sure that you keep the lights off so you don’t wake yourself up any more than you need to.
The environment around you could be one big contributor that’s stopping you falling asleep. Take a good look around your room to evaluate it and to work out whether there could be any issues with it. What you want from your bedroom ideally is as calming a space as possible, full of clean lines and empty space. First of all, make sure that you tidy your possessions away as often as you can. Being able to see old clothes on the floor and surfaces cluttered with random items will make you anxious in the middle of the night because it’ll just remind you of everything you have to do the next day. If the walls are a dark colour like red or purple, paint them a paler, calmer colour like pale grey or duck egg blue. These colours will help you find more peace at night by creating a stress-free, mellow environment that your brain is able to switch off in.
Your bed could be one of the biggest factors in your inability to fall asleep at night. Stand back and re-evaluate your sleeping arrangements. Do you ever wake up with a sore back or neck, and do you think you’re comfortable when you lie down to go to sleep? If you do wake up with some aches and pains, you should consider investing in some new bedding. If your mattress is old and it’s started to spring some lumps and bumps, it’s a good idea to go out and pick a new one. Before you go, read some reviews online first like this review of a gel-infused memory foam Brentwood Mattress at this link. That means you’ll be prepared when you go to the store, and that you’ll know what requirements you have. If your mattress isn’t too bad, you could look into getting a new mattress topper instead. Memory foam is great for many people because it moulds to the shape of your body and supports you well. If you have a sore neck and upper back in particular, look into purchasing new pillows. Make sure they’re the right height for you to sleep comfortably. If you use the same blankets and duvet all year round, change them up for the summer and winter. This time of year you need a higher tog rating so you stay warm at night.
Sometimes your family is what makes the task of falling and staying asleep almost impossible. If you have a young baby, there isn’t much you can do to stop being woken up at night, although a lot of mothers have reported that co-sleeping helps them get more hours of sleep as it allows them to nurse their babies in bed. Make sure you’ve researched co-sleeping before you try it. If you’re interested in sleep training your baby, make sure you’ve read up on that method, and try to trust it to get you more sleep at night. You should also be fully supported by your partner – if you’ve got up in the night then they could get up early. Looking after your child at night should be a team effort, particularly if you both work. If your partner’s the problem, it’s often because of snoring. If that’s an issue, get them to go to the doctor – there could be an undiagnosed medical issue causing it and they could use a mouth guard or a sleeping mask to correct the issue and help you get a good night’s sleep. If nothing works, remember that you don’t have to sleep in the same bed every night. Maintain your intimacy by starting off together, but if the snoring bothers you, it’s completely okay to slip off to the spare room. That way you’ll be able to stretch out too!
In The Morning
Some people have no problem falling asleep – but staying asleep is the big issue for them. If you find yourself waking up early in the morning, try thinking about why. Maybe you’re anxious about what you have to do that day. If so, make a list before you go to bed of what you need to do so you can get it out of your mind by writing it down. If you know you’re prepared and organised before you go to bed, you’ll feel calmer when you’re trying to sleep. If you’re having problems with light coming through the window, then try some black out blinds to keep your room dark as long as you want to, and if you’re having issues with noisy neighbours who get up earlier than you or traffic outside, earplugs that mould to the inside of your ear will help to shut out the noise. If you do wake up and you’re having problems falling asleep, close your eyes and focus on each part of your body in turn. Going inside your body will help to switch your mind off and help you fall asleep again.
Your State Of Mind
If you’ve tried changing different things around yourself in your physical environment and in your home, then you might start having to look a little deeper inside yourself. Insomnia is a serious medical condition and if you’re finding yourself bothered by it, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Problems with your sleeping patterns can also be a sign of depression. If you’re sleeping at strange times of day, not enough, or too much, then it’s a good idea to look at the way you’re feeling in other ways and evaluate yourself. Are you still taking pleasure in your normal hobbies and activities? Are you excited and positive about the future? If the answer to your questions is no, then chances are you may be suffering from depression, which is affecting your moods and your ability to sleep. As part of a vicious circle, not being able to sleep will just make you even more unhappy. Talk to your doctor about going on medication or for cognitive behavioural therapy. Most of all, remember that you’re not alone with these issues – they’re common, many people have them, and they can be fixed.