Getting a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in your quality of life and overall well-being. While some people have no problem catching Zs, it’s harder for some people to get the recommended amount of shut-eye.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. Read on to learn some proven habits that can help you get the rest that you deserve.
Ditch the Screens
According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 90% of Americans admit to using a technological device before bed. While you may think that reading something on your phone is relaxing, it’s not good for you.
The truth is that electronic devices are physiologically and psychologically stimulating. They can have severely adverse effects on your quality of sleep. This is because screens delay your circadian rhythm (your internal clock), and suppress the release of melatonin.
If you’re a member of the overwhelming majority of bedtime screen users, kick the habit. Instead of looking at your phone, consider trading it in for a book under the warm light of a lamp. Try it for a week; you’ll likely notice the incredible benefits of ditching the tech before bed.
Practice a Nighttime Ritual
Whether you’ve accepted it or not, humans are creatures of habit. We thrive when we have a routine. Taking a few moments every night to practice a ritual can help you relax and release the stress of the day.
Your nightly ritual doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Even merely brushing your teeth, washing your face, and taking a few moments to reflect can be useful. Try writing in a journal or spend a little time stretching your muscles.
Consider a Lavender Scent
Lavender is well-known aromatherapy for sleep and relaxation. Incorporating this scent has helped many people with insomnia, depression, and anxiety. The pleasant and calming smell can help increase your time spent in deep, slow-wave sleep.
The flower works as an anxiolytic, which is a tried and tested reliever of anxiety. It’s also a mild sedative, which interacts with the brain and nervous system to reduce restlessness.
Listen to Music Before Bed
While you don’t want to listen to high-tempo beats before you sleep, try relaxing tunes like classical music or trance. According to WebMD, rhythms with less than 60 beats per minute can help you fall asleep.
Comfort Is Key
While it may seem obvious, sleeping on a comfortable bed can make all the difference.
Make sure that your mattress is as soft or hard as you prefer, and it’s not causing you pain. The best mattress for side sleepers will provide pressure relief for your joints and spine. These beds provide contouring support for your comfort and equally distribute weight.
Avoid Your Vices
Alcohol, cigarettes, overeating, and caffeine are known culprits for disrupting sleep. Avoid these habits in the evening if you can.
Do a Body Scan
If after 20 minutes you’re lying in bed tossing and turning, wide awake, try to relax. One great way to ease your body and mind is to conduct what’s called a body scan. This ancient meditative practice is effective and proven to work.
Start by closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath. Then, focus your mind on your toes, then slowly work your way up through the body to the top of your head. Repeat until you fall asleep.
Get in Your Daily Workout
According to Harvard Medical School, regular aerobic exercise can help to improve sleep and overall health significantly. Workouts such as running, walking, or swimming will help you fall asleep faster.
Not only will you be able to snooze quicker, but you’ll also attain a higher percentage of deep restorative sleep. When you focus on your fitness during the day, you’ll awaken less often during the night.
Optimize Your Bedroom Temperature
The ideal sleeping environment is cold, dark, and quiet. You can optimize your bedtime conditions by investing in curtains that block out the light. If you live in a warm area, or it’s summer, bring a fan into the room for a calming breeze.
Don’t Rely on Sleeping Pills
If you’re currently taking prescription sleep medication, try to wean off of it. It’s best to use these aids for a short period.
A Final Thought
When you incorporate these habits into your bedtime routine, nights will be more restful and your sleep deeper. If you still have trouble, talk to your doctor about how to move forward.