People often ponder why they can’t sleep, lying awake at night. There are a whole host of issues that may be causing you trouble, but there’s enough ways to get yourself to sleep despite them.
Here are the 13 ways to get you proper sleep at night……
#1 Go to Bed at the Same Time
A routine of falling asleep and waking up at the same time can be a great way to battle difficulty sleeping in the long term. Set a time, say 10 pm, and then crawl into bed at 10 each night, phones away, books away, lights off and go to sleep.
Of difficult days, while it may be tough to tell yourself to go to sleep, and it might even feel counterproductive since you’re effectively putting yourself under more stress by pressuring yourself to sleep, it can be useful to just lay in bed and breathe, trying to relax.
As part of the same step, it is also crucial to wake up at the same time in the morning, and get going with your daily chores. Which brings us to the next point…
#2 Don’t Do Anything else Other than Sleeping in Bed
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A lot of people sit in bed, cruising through facebook, munching chips, reading books or watching TV. That’s the single most damaging habit you can cultivate when you’re dealing with sleep hygiene, the proper way to be in your bedroom to facilitate proper sleep. If you do this, you absolutely need to stop. This also holds for people who wake up in the morning but stay in bed till hours later.
The bed is only for sleeping and having naughty time in. All the rest of your day’s activities are meant to be done outside the bedroom. Follow this and your mind will develop a rhythm of relaxing as soon as you get close to your bed. You’ll be sleeping much easier once you have this.
#3 Paint the Bedroom with Soothing Colors
Bright yellows and reds might be your favorite colors or that of your significant other, but bright jarring colors often contribute to making people feel ill at ease. Bright colors are the very antithesis of relaxation.
This doesn’t just hold for wall colors, by the way. There are other big color contributors in an average bedroom, such as the window curtains, the bed covers or the door.
The problem is compounded if you have an especially bright color on your walls and your bedroom is hit by the early morning sun that reflects off the walls. Opt for a more sober and soothing shade for your walls, such as a calm blue, pastel shades of green or a different color you like.
#4 Experiment with White Noise
Many people prefer their room be perfectly quiet and still, and research does agree with their experience; quiet environment often facilitates healthier sleep. But if you’re someone who struggles to get themselves to relax in bed and hence sleeps poorly, it may help you to play light music, or other sounds for that matter.
There are tens of such white noise tracks you can find of youtube, so you need only set your iPhone on a dock, adjust the volume to a comfortable level and then play any one of the many tracks you can find for free. The recordings last anywhere between 30 minutes to a whole 10 hours, so you can choose how long you want the music to play.
#5 Have Some Warm Milk
It’s not just a kitchen remedy that grannies offer, nor is it a trick to get you to drink more milk. Warm milk contains tryptophan, a chemical which is known to help sleep.
Milk has in fact been known as a facilitator of sleep across cultures from time immemorial. However, not everyone drinks milk, especially not people who are lactose intolerant, or vegan. There are other remedies you can use too. Bananas, a rich source on potassium, are also known to reduce anxiety and mitigate stress, which may help you sleep.
A light snack can be beneficial, like a handful of nuts or maybe even a sandwich. Eating reduces stress (ask any binge-eater), but it is important to remember to only eat light. Heavy meals can cause you acid reflux which disturbs sleep.
#6 Give/Get a Massage
An uncommon method many people swear by is getting a massage, and even giving one. Having your significant other give you a nice relaxing shoulder rub doesn’t just lead to some romantic exchanges, but it significantly lowers stress and anxiety, releasing a bunch of feel-good chemicals like Oxytocin and Endorphins. One can feel relaxed not just by getting a massage, but also by giving one.
#7 Aromatherapy is Amazing!
It’s not just a bunch of flowery and fruity smells; aromatherapy has some real effects on people who are exposed to it. There are various essential oils, spritzes and incenses that might help you sleep better. The top recommendation is often lavender, since the aroma is well known to produce a calming effect on people. There are other aromas one can find helpful as well, such as lemongrass, citrus fruits and others.
Similarly, you might want to avoid a few scents while going to bed since they can make one feel more active, such as rose or camphor oil. However, if you’re used to relaxing in these aromas, you might profit by using them.
Experiment. Mix a few drops of essential oil in equal parts water and rubbing alcohol or witch hazel, put them in a bottle with a mister spray cap, shake it up and spray lightly over your bed and linen. The aroma should fill the air and hang around for a couple of days. Let yourself be rested and wake up refreshed.
#8 Change the Covers
Sometimes, a good night’s sleep is just a simple cover change away! Your bedsheets and pillowcases soak a lot of your sweat, oil and even drool when you’re sleeping.
They may not start smelling bad immediately, but the smell can really prick over time and cause your mind difficulty when it is trying to relax. Change and lay our a new sheet and pillowcases, and you might sleep easier.
#9 Deep Clean your Mattress
If your mattress has begun to smell, changing the covers alone will not be sufficient. This is like when your baby or a significant other is a bedwetter, be it due to age or an illness.
Also, over time, your dead skin and hair serves to become fodder for dust mites that populare the bed, and the dampness serves to cause a spurt in bacteria populations which may cause skin trouble, foul smells and other unsavoury bed conditions. Take off the covers and lay a generous amount of baking soda on the mattress surface using a kitchen sieve.
Let the powder sit for a good 4 hours, and then vacuum it out using the upholstery tool. The baking soda draws out all the moisture, killing both bacteria and bugs in the process, and also eliminates foul smells. For added benefit, you can put a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the baking soda and shake to mix it up, before sifting it onto the mattress.
#10 Exercise. Plain and Simple
A lot of people cannot sleep because they’re simply not tired. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle where there is hardly any incentive to get off the couch, you need to burn some energy and get tired so you can sleep.
#11 Eat Light
People who eat heavy meals, meals rich in fat or even spicy food are prone to indigestion when they’re sleeping. Since your food pipe is nearly horizontal when you’re lying in bed, your body becomes more prone to acid reflux, which can wake up up in the middle of the night and disturb your sleep quality overall as well.
It is always recommended to keep your dinner light so your stomach is light when you go to bed. It is also advisable to not lie down immediately after a meal so your stomach has time to digest the meal and push it to the intestine, so there is less chance of discomfort when you lay down.
#12 Get a Pet to Cuddle with Before Bedtime
If you needed any more reasons to confirm that pets are awesome, it is now known that cuddling a pet is a great way to reduce stress and boost wellness. Petting your pooch can boost feelings of happiness and make you feel at ease.
However, we don’t recommend getting a pet animal just to sleep better. Pets require a lot of care and having one can restrict you if you prefer a carefree lifestyle. If you have one, or are capable of keeping one, it can be a good help to your sleep be sounder.
#13 See a Therapist for Your Sleep Trouble
Finally, there is no shame in admitting that you have trouble sleeping, and you can’t get on top of it on your own. Seeing a therapist can help you make precise and efficient changes in your lifestyle, relax better, and be more productive and socially adept.
So there you have it. Know any more ways to get better sleep? Tell us in the comments below.