There’s nothing worse than getting into bed and not being able to sleep at night, especially if we know we have to be up early the next morning, for one reason or another. Sleep is an essential part of everyday life, in fact it’s integral to our health and well-being. Studies have revealed that individuals that get less than seven hours sleep per night, generally have shorter life expectancies than those that sleep for between seven and nine hours each night. It always seems to be the way, we spend all day complaining about feeling tired, lethargic, and sapped of energy, yet when the time comes to actually get into bed, we’re wide awake, tossing and turning with our minds working overtime. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, or if you’d simply like to try and get your sleeping pattern in order, here’s a look at 8 handy tips guaranteed to have you away to the land of nod in no time at all.
1. Create the perfect temperature
Some of us feel the cold more than others, whilst others find themselves more sensitive to higher temperatures than others. Whichever applies to you, creating the ideal temperature in your bedroom before you go to sleep is the perfect way of helping to relax your body and leave you feeling comfortable and relaxed. If you feel the cold for example, make sure your window is closed and in the winter, use a thicker duvet and perhaps leave your radiator on to warm your room. On the flipside, if you find yourself too hot, so much so that it’s affecting your sleep, try opening your window, investing in a fan, or even purchasing a portable A/C unit perhaps. Creating a temperature that is just right for you will help ensure you’re comfortable and relaxed, which in turn will help you get off to sleep much quicker.
2. Resist the urge to use electronic devices
Whilst laid in bed, it’s very easy to find ourselves reaching for our smart phone, tablet, laptop, or the TV remote to help pass the time. However, using electronic devices right before bed, and indeed whilst trying to sleep, is extremely detrimental as it will stimulate the brain, leaving you feeling more alert and awake, which is the exact opposite of what you should be looking to achieve. If you can’t sleep, don’t decide to browse Facebook or watch TV as this will only wake you up more, and before you know it, by the time you have managed to fall asleep, you’ll have only slept a few hours and it will be time to wake up.
3. Don’t watch aggressive or violent content before bed
If you’re watching a little TV before going to bed, like many of us do, be wary about what sort of content you’re watching. If you watch a TV show or a movie full of loud explosions, shouting, screaming, blood, gore, horror, violence, and action, your adrenalin levels will increase, your brain will find itself stimulated, and you’ll feel more awake and alert than if you’d just drank a litre of black coffee. By all means watch this sort of content, just make sure that you leave yourself enough time to relax and calm down before you climb into bed.
4. Clean your bedding regularly
Ideally you should wash your bedding at least once per week, as not only is it hygienic, it is also very beneficial at helping you to fall asleep at night. What sounds more relaxing: Getting into a bed full of grit, dust, debris, sweat, hair, and dead skin cells, or getting into a clean, soft, fresh smelling bed instead? Obviously it’s the latter, so make sure you clean your bedding regularly, at least once per week as it makes a big difference. Climbing into clean, fresh bedding after a shower or a bath is one of life’s little pleasures that each of us can enjoy.
5. Keep your bedroom tidy
Tidy room, tidy mind, so if your room could stand to benefit from a bit of a spring clean, get to work as a clean room will help you to relax and create the perfect environment for falling asleep at night. If your room is cluttered, your thoughts will be cluttered and you simply won’t be able to fully relax and focus on falling asleep when you climb into bed. It doesn’t have to be immaculate, just neat, tidy, and organised.
6. Relax and unwind before bed
Before you get straight into bed, first take the time to relax and unwind. Watch a calming and relaxing TV show or documentary, or read a book, or have a long soak in a nice warm bubble bath and let your stresses and stiff joints just wash away with the warm water. Why not try listening to calming and relaxing music, not only before bed, but even as you lay in bed as well perhaps. Calming activities and surroundings will allow your mind to rest, your eyes to grow heavy, and before you know it you’ll be snoring away and enjoying a refreshing night’s sleep to recharge your batteries for the next day.
7. Use your own imagination
The human mind is an extremely powerful tool, and if you’re struggling to sleep at night, why not use your own mind and imagination to your advantage? Rather than thinking about stressful things, or things that aren’t really considered calming or relaxing, focus your mind on calmer, more positive thoughts instead. Imagine yourself in the woods, on the beach, or by a tranquil waterfall perhaps. If you’re heading away on holiday, or are looking forward to a certain upcoming event, think about that instead. Even something as simple as picturing your dream home, and visualising how you’d decorate and furnish each room, can allow you to fall asleep far easier than you would have ever imagined.
8. Stay away from stimulants
If you struggle to sleep at night, stay away from stimulants such as coffee, energy drinks, or foods and drinks that naturally contain caffeine and other stimulants, even if it’s early in the day that you consume them. It’s slightly ironic, we don’t sleep very well, we feel tired, so we drink coffee or energy drinks to wake us up and make us feel more alert, which then prevent us from sleeping at night, and so we repeat the same cycle over and over. If you’re finding it difficult to sleep at night, try cutting out all stimulants from your life for a while, and see if it makes a difference.