Get Your Best Sleep Tonight
How often do you find yourself unable to fall asleep because you can’t stop thinking about your job or a personal crisis? Perhaps you wake up in the middle of the night and discover you can’t fall back to sleep. Maybe you woke up in the morning feeling irritable instead of refreshed from the lack of a good night’s sleep.
You are not alone, in fact, as millions of people worldwide suffer from some form of sleep deprivation. This startling fact means that adults throughout the world are at a greater risk for heart disease, depression, obesity, and work or recreational accidents including automobile crashes, all because they are not getting a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is the single most important factor to your good health. While you are sleeping your body is working hard to repair and recharge itself. Sleep allows your mind to rest so you will be mentally prepared to face each new day. For most people, their inability to sleep is self-induced. Erratic bedtimes, anxiety, a poor sleeping environment, excess alcohol or caffeine, technology, are all contributing factors to not getting a good night’s sleep. Thankfully, there are some easy remedies that you can try so you can take control of your restless nights and start to sleep soundly.
Make a Schedule
Before the advent of electricity, most people went to bed when the sun went down and woke up in the early light. This went along with our natural diurnal rhythms. The electric light caused a distinct change in our sleeping habits as it allowed for our awake activities to continue well into the night.
Most sleep-deprived people have inconsistent bedtimes. Many stay up to watch television or read a book, often falling asleep in their favorite chair. This results in their waking up in the middle of the night to go to bed, interrupting the sleep cycle. Make a schedule to go to sleep at the same time every night in your bed with the lights out and the room dark and cool.
The foremost cause of restless nights is stress brought about by job and family. Find ways to reduce your stress. Exercise earlier in the day or immediately when you get home to burn off your stress and to help tire you out. Taking the dog out for a long walk or going for a bike ride are sure ways to help you clear your mind.
A relaxing yoga routine can also be quite restorative when trying to reduce stress. Humor is a wonderful way to relieve stress. Play a game with the family or share funny stories at the table. Watch a comedy show, just don’t stay up too late to do so. Laughing is essential to letting go of stress, reminding you what is truly important.
Many people who suffer from sleep deprivation also suffer from poor diets. High fat, ultra-processed foods lead to obesity, increased anxiety, and difficulties sleeping. These same individuals also tend to eat right before bedtime, which adversely affects a good night’s sleep. Your body works hard to digest food, and cannot relax if you’ve eaten just before going to bed. Most experts agree that stopping your food intake 2 – 3 hours before sleeping, will help you avoid stomach upset, indigestion, heartburn, and a poor night’s sleep.
Other foods and drinks to avoid right before bed are foods high in carbohydrates and acidity, plus caffeine and alcohol. However, there are foods and natural supplements that work wonders to help you get a good night’s sleep. Look for foods with melatonin such as milk, almonds, kiwi, and turkey. Embracing a high protein low-fat diet such as the Mediterranean diet will be of great benefit to you when it’s time for bed.
Natural supplements, including chamomile, lavender, melatonin, and CBD oil have all been shown to reduce stress and aid sleep. These products are available in a variety of forms, including teas, oils, pills, even CBD gummies, and are a quick and easy solution to reducing stress and anxiety and helping you to get a better night’s sleep.
Your sleep environment matters. Really. Check your bedroom temperature. For most people, 70 degrees works fine. But if you tend to run hot, then 68 might be your magic number. Your bed linens also aid in sleep comfort. Pure cotton bedding tends to remain cool throughout the night. If you find you can’t get comfortable while going to sleep, it might be time to consider a new mattress. Most mattresses should be replaced by the tenth year.
Be sure to eliminate ambient light from outdoors with an effective set of window coverings. How many charger lights shine bright when you are in the dark? Charge your technology in another room. Unplug from all technology. Afraid you’ll miss your favorite show? Most entertainment services allow you to schedule them for your convenience. Turn your notifications off on your phone, and by all means, don’t be checking your bright-lighted messages just before you go to sleep.
You are trying to create a relaxing environment conducive to sleeping and not work. Making these easy lifestyle changes can be transformative, not only ensuring a great night of sound and restful sleep, but a whole new you.