Insomnia is a big problem for adults in the U.S. An occasional sleepless night isn’t something that will greatly affect you, but perpetual sleeplessness can lead to serious health problems.
Lack of sleep hinders your mental and physical ability to function. You feel tired, groggy and irritable. With lack of sleep, you can’t function at work or at home, and your job performance and personal relationships suffer. Too little sleep can even hinder your ability to lose weight, and it can lead to diabetes and hypertension. Your body needs sleep in order to function properly.
If you struggle to get adequate sleep every night, try several tricks that improve your body’s ability to fall and stay asleep every night.
Implement good sleep habits
When implementing a sleep routine, good sleep habits remain a top priority. Start by determining your natural sleep rhythm. Pick a regular bedtime and wake up time, and stick to it. As you obey your body’s internal clock and natural sleep rhythm, you’re more likely to get enough sleep every night.
Get into a relaxing bedtime routine
Along with good sleep habits, create a relaxing bedtime routine. When you complete the same routine every night, even if it’s simply washing your face and brushing your teeth, you prepare your body to go to relax and sleep.
As part of your routine, turn off the television and other electronics at least an hour before your bedtime. The lights from electronic devices can stimulate rather than relax you. Instead, read a boring book, take a warm bath or meditate quietly. These activities calm your mind and your body before bedtime.
Create a sleepy ambiance
When you reserve your bedroom for sleeping, you cultivate an ambiance for sleep. As the focal point of your room, pay attention to the bed. Your mattress influences the quality of your sleep. Choose one that feels comfortable without being too firm or soft. As an additional sleep promoter, reduce light by installing room-darkening blinds on the windows.
You’ll also want to regulate the temperature of your room. Most people sleep better in a cooler room. Cool colors also play a huge role in your room’s mood. This color palette calms rather than excites your senses. With the perfect bedroom ambiance, you make falling and staying asleep easy.
Drinking and eating within three hours of your bedtime can keep you awake. You need time to digest your food, or heartburn will disrupt your sleep. If you do need to eat before bed, try a light snack like granola and yogurt or whole-wheat toast and peanut butter, which will take the edge off your hunger without interrupting your sleep schedule. Likewise, avoid caffeinated beverages that stimulate your body and your mind.
There’s a right and a wrong way to nap. If you’re really tired in the afternoon, a 20-minute nap can refresh and rejuvenate your mind and body. Longer naps might be tempting, but they interrupt your regular sleep pattern and can make it harder to fall asleep later at night. Nap wisely to help you catch up on missed sleep and feel rested.
Good sleep habits, a relaxing routine and the right ambiance promote a good night’s sleep. When you prioritize your natural sleep rhythm, you increase your mental and physical health and increase the chance that you’ll stay healthy, simply by getting a better night’s sleep.
Holly is an Indianapolis native who enjoys blogging on behalf of brands like Sears. In her spare time, she loves running and baking every cookie recipe she can get her hands on.
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