Trouble sleeping at night? Do you toss and turn, unable to get a full night’s rest? If so, you are not alone. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that approximately 40 million people in the United States have major sleep issues each year. Another 20 million people struggle with sleep issues some of the time. That’s a whole lot of sleep deprived people getting up and heading out each day, possibly explaining some of the grouchiness going on.
But even if you don’t have a full-blown sleep disorder, there are tips that you can try in order to get better sleep at night. Here are 15 tips for you to try in order to sleep peacefully through the night.
15 Tips For Better Sleep
1. Have a Regular Bedtime Routine
One of the first things that you can do to improve your sleep is to have a regular bedtime routine and sleep schedule. This means winding down around the same time each night and trying to go to sleep about the same time as well. For example, perhaps you can start winding down around 9 or 10 p.m. and turn off your lights out at 11 p.m. If you do this consistently, rather than go to bed at 11 one night and 3 in the morning another night, then your body can get into a more natural rhythm and you can sleep better.
2. Exercise Regularly
Studies show that regular exercise helps people sleep better at night. If you’re able to exercise, such as take a brisk walk or bicycle ride, consider doing this on average 3 to 5 times a week. This helps your body expend energy, which can help you feel more relaxed as you go to sleep at night. Keep in mind that you don’t want to exercise within 4 hours of going to sleep. If you do, your body may be too ramped up to go to sleep.
3. Limit Caffeine
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, limit your caffeine to just a tiny bit in the evening or none at all. Caffeine, as you know can give you an energy boost, which you don’t want to have when you’re trying to go to sleep. Watch for caffeine in the drinks that you’re drinking in the evenings, such as in soda or coffee.
4. Take up Meditation
Spend some time in the evening in quiet meditation. The art of meditation is simply learning how to calm your thought life down. Even if you take just five minutes in a quiet place to focus on your breath, it can calm your mind and energy level down. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, begin to focus on your inhale and exhale. As you become mindful of your breath, oftentimes this allows your body to fully relax, so that you can fall asleep.
5. Skip the Nightcap
Many people think that having a drink or two before bed will help them sleep. However, alcohol does not necessarily help people sleep. If you are going to have a drink, be sure to finish your drink at least two hours before you try to go to sleep.
6. Have Your Snack Early
If you’re eating just before you go to sleep, this can cause an uncomfortable feeling in the belly and make it tougher to fall asleep. This is especially true if you have any digestion issues, such as acid reflux. Of course, you don’t want to feel hungry when you’re trying to fall asleep, because that can make it challenging as well. Try to have your snack at least 2 hours before you try to go to sleep.
7. Run a Fan
People find it helpful to run a fan at night. Some like it because they sleep better when they feel cool. Others like it because they like the noise of the fan. It drowns out other noises, and the actual noise of the fan has a calming effect on many people.
8. Turn all the Lights Off
You may find it helpful to sleep in a pitch-black room. If you have night lights, unplug them and see if you do better sleeping in a completely dark room. If leaving your door open allows a lot of light to enter, consider closing it for sleep time.
9. Cut the TV off Early
Some people find it helpful to turn off their television a little while before they head off to sleep. Try a short meditation or perhaps reading a chapter of a book just before you try to fall asleep. By cutting off the television, this gives your chance your brain and your body some “down” time, to fully relax.
10. Do not Sleep with the Television or Music on
Many people try to sleep with the television on, stating that the noise helps them sleep. However, the noise of the television may make it so that you don’t get a peaceful night’s sleep. You may toss and turn, or when those loud commercials come on, you wake up. Turn all electronics off before heading off to dreamland.
11. Use a Comfortable Pillow
If your pillow is not comfortable, it can affect your sleep. If you’ve settled for a low-quality, cheap pillow, consider investing in one that gives you great neck support. You want your spine and your neck to be in a straight line, as this helps reduce any tension in that area, allowing you to fall asleep faster. If you happen to like to fall asleep on your stomach, you might want to use a very flat pillow or no pillow at all, so that your neck and spine are straight.
Turn over if you Wake up
If you do wake up in the middle of the night, resist the temptation to start thinking about things or getting up. It helps many people to simply turn over and focus on their breath. This way, they’re not fully waking up. They’re simply adjusting their position and keep in their thoughts to a bare minimum.
13. Try a Guided Meditation
If you’re really struggling falling asleep night after night, consider listening to a guided meditation just before you try to fall asleep. There are plenty of guided meditations for sleep on YouTube. You may try several and if you find one that you particularly like, play it as often as you need. Chances are it will help you relax your mind and body enough to fall asleep.
14. Let Your Animals Sleep Elsewhere
If you let your cat or dog sleep with you, you may not even realize it, but they may be causing your sleep to suffer. Every time your pet moves, you may wake up a little bit. Or if your cat goes after your feet, it may startle you and wake you up. You might want to let the animals sleep elsewhere to see if this helps you have a better night’s sleep.
15. Get Regular Massages
It’s no surprise that stress is a number one problem in many people’s lives. People tend to carry that stress in the body, and a massage can help ease that stress wonderfully. Try getting regular massages and see if that helps you sleep better at night.
Try some or all of these tips for better sleep at night. It may take a little time for your body to get used to a different routine, so give it time. If you simply cannot get good sleep despite what you try, you may want to consult a healthcare professional. Your body needs good sleep, so that you can wake up refreshed and ready to have a productive day. Hope that these tips help you do exactly that!