Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? If so, you are not alone in this struggle. The CDC considers the lack of sleep to be a public health problem. According to their statistics, approx. 50 to 70 million adults in the US have some type of sleep disorder.
Want to boost your sleep hours, but don’t know how to accomplish this feat? Instead of harping on all the things you should not be doing, check out this lovely list of activities experts say can improve your sleep at night.
- Create a pre-sleep ritual.
Having a routine that you go through before climbing into bed can help your mind understand that it’s sleepy time. Some people take longer to wind down after a long day. So your pre-sleep ritual will depend on personal factors, but the key is to find activities that help settle and soothe your nerves. Take a bath. Pamper your skin. Turn on a carefully selected playlist to help put you in a serene frame of mind. If needed, write out a to-do list for tomorrow, so that it won’t weigh on you as you try to drift off.
- Nest a lot.
Your bedroom, and whether it’s organized or messy, too hot or too cold, can affect your sleep at night. Your bedroom should be cool, inviting, and clean. The colors of your walls, too, play a role. For many, a scattered messy bedroom will only cause you to think of how you need to clean, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm. Earlier in the day, take the time to straighten your bedroom and prepare it for the evening. Whether awake or not, you will spend more time in your bedroom than in any other room in your house. Make it a place that you love to spend time in.
- Find out what relaxes you.
Finding out more about what relaxes you is an essential step to creating an effective pre-sleep ritual. Some people swear by massages, others by knitting or doing a crossword. Dispensaries in Seattle
are seeing customers turn to cannabidiol as an effective treatment for insomnia due to its relaxing properties. Experiment and take the time to reflect on what helps calm your mind and then consider adding that into your pre-sleep ritual.
- Eat this night-time snack.
Certain foods help the body produce melatonin, which is your body’s sleep hormone. Typically, these are foods that contain tryptophan. You may have heard of it in relation to your Thanksgiving turkey and why you always feel sleepy after eating that holiday meal. But turkey as a nighttime snack might not be a great option every night. Instead, other foods that contain this amino acid include milk, cheese, seeds, and nuts.
- Say no to unhappy thoughts and negative people.
Stress is one of the most cited reasons for poor sleep patterns. So it pays to evaluate what it is that could be keeping you up at night. Is it thoughts about work, or certain family members who cause you anxiety and lead you down a road of self-doubt? If so, consider insulating yourself from their influence for a block of time. Don’t take phone calls after dinner. Ditto for checking mail or going on social media if you know that it could trigger emotions you don’t want to deal with before bed.
From the time after dinner to the time you go to bed, focus on uplifting thoughts that will put you in a calm state. Avoid the news or other shows that might make you feel reactive or depressed. Read books that put you in your happy place. Focus on the things that went well and all that you are looking forward to. Researchers are continually finding how gratitude affects a person’s physiology. If you don’t have thankfulness practice yet, consider starting one up.