Considering that sleep has entered the evolutionary image, some 700 million years ago, you would think we would be better in this area now. But many of us are not – so what better day than Word Sleep Day to adopt new habits.
Countless things (caffeine, stress, smartphones) can hinder a good night’s sleep. Meanwhile, many elaborate lifestyle changes promise to overcome the barriers to a good night’s sleep. However, making some of these drastic changes can be difficult. Changing your diet or doing an hour-long meditation at bedtime can help you sleep, but it may also not be realistic for you.
However, that does not mean that you cannot improve your sleep. Today it’s World sleep day, so this is a great time to try something new.
We have put together 12 simple ways to improve your sleep. Even if you start with just one of them, it’s a great first step toward a better night’s sleep.
Slow down caffeine
Avoiding caffeine all day is just not practical for everyone. However, it is not surprising that if you drink caffeine all day and at night, it is more difficult to fall asleep.
To get the boost you need without disrupting your sleep, start avoiding caffeine about four hours before you fall asleep. While completely removing caffeine can lead to even better sleep, this tactic is much more accessible and still effective.
By the way, the four hours before bedtime are just a starting point. The speed at which you process the stimulant is largely genetic. Some people have to stop drinking coffee before noon to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and others can have espresso with their dessert and fall asleep effortlessly. Listen to your body and back off your last cup of the day until it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
Sober Up Before Bed
Alcohol can also disturb sleep. It is a little paradoxical because smacking a bunch of glasses of strong alcohol is a great way to feel immediately asleep and even fall asleep very quickly. But even if drinking before bed puts you to sleep faster, your sleep will be disturbed later because your body processes alcohol.
If you plan to drink even a small amount, try to stop for several hours before bed, as we recommended above with caffeine. This gives your body time to process alcohol so that it does not disturb the quality of your sleep.
Relax with a book
You can also use the temperature to your advantage by taking a hot bath or shower before bed. In addition, if you take a shower in the evening, you can sleep a little longer in the morning!
Try to take your hot bath or shower about an hour and a half before bedtime for the best results. Hot water will boost your body’s core temperature to let it know it’s time to sleep.
Plus, it’s just a deeply relaxing ritual to perform.
Turn away from insomnia
If you can’t fall asleep, get up and do something rather than lying down and cursing your insomnia. Otherwise, you will begin to associate the stress of insomnia with your bedroom, which can make falling asleep even more difficult in the future.
Try to kill for a while with relaxing activities until you really feel tired. You could meditate, try a relaxing yoga sequenceor read more.
The idea is to distract yourself from the stress of staying awake, without doing anything that will wake you up even more. When you go back to bed, you will see it as a good place to stay, not a terrible prison for insomnia.
Restrict the use of your bed
If you live in a small space, it’s easy to let your bed become a versatile place. For example, you could study, work, or even eat in bed. If you have trouble sleeping, consider giving up these habits.
Buy a desk, sofa, or anything else you may need to avoid using your bed as a place to sleep. Then don’t go to bed until you feel tired and ready to sleep.
Your body should then begin to associate going to bed with falling asleep.
Eat a bedtime snack
This change should be easy to make! Eat a small snack (not a large meal) before bed.
Going to bed hungry certainly doesn’t help you sleep, but neither does eating a large meal in advance.
A bedtime snack is a healthy environment. This will ensure that hunger does not keep you awake. As we mentioned above, try not to eat your snack in bed.
Redecorate your room
If you like decoration, you can have fun and improve your sleep by redoing your room.
When you redecorate, make it your goal to create a restful space. For example, you can add curtains that block the light or add a new piece of furniture to keep the clutter out of sight.
Add everything you need to feel more comfortable at night, whether it’s a fan, dimmer, or just a new color palette.
Sometimes it is enough to rearrange the furniture to make a room more peaceful.
Keep a diary
Do you worry about tomorrow, what keeps you from sleeping at night? Keeping a simple newspaper or diary next to your bed could help.
Instead of stressing out or mentally planning your day for tomorrow, write down things to get them out of your mind.
You can write down a to-do list, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting something. Or, you can write down the things you are stressed about to “free” them from your mind overnight.
Get more natural light
Our bodies are attuned to the rhythms of day and night thanks to millions of years of evolution. Darkness helps us fall asleep. However, without the contrast of natural light, our body rhythms can be disrupted.
To get your natural sleep pattern back on track, try to get more natural light during the day. You can do this by making a few simple changes, such as working near a window or taking a walk at lunchtime.
If you can’t get more sunlight, take a lamp imitating sunlight and use it for a few hours each day.
Try melatonin supplements
When it comes to sleeping pills, you can’t go wrong with melatonin. Melatonin is the sleep hormone produced naturally by your body. If you take it as a supplement, it can help you fall asleep without any of the negative side effects you may experience with other sleeping pills.
Melatonin works well even at low doses and has no withdrawal symptoms. Start with the smallest dose possible; if it doesn’t work, add more each night.
Although melatonin is very safe, as with any supplement, you should always consult your doctor before you start taking it.
While the occasional sleepless night is normal, chronic insomnia is not. Your doctor can help you eliminate the underlying causes that prevent you from sleeping at night. In the meantime, however, one of these tips could help you fall asleep faster and wake up cooler. There’s no need to create a sophisticated and elaborate bedtime routine – just try these easy steps until you find what works for you.
Want more tips to improve your sleep? Check-out these relaxing breathing exercises.