In today’s society it’s not uncommon to struggle with insomnia or other sleep problems. But in this article we’re going to go over some things you can do to help ensure you’re getting the best night sleep possible.
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
Part of establishing a relaxing bedtime routine includes keeping your bedroom at a cooler, yet warm temperature. It is recommended that your bedroom temperature is set between 60F- 75F for optimal comfort. You may want to consider putting up light blocking curtains to help keep your bedroom dark. It’s only natural for your body to start waking up when the sun rises. This can be especially difficult for those of us that work overnight and sleep during the day.
If you find that your room is too quiet, you can turn on a fan or put on some variation of white noise to help you fall asleep. Some white noise sounds include Rain, Thunderstorm, the sound of the Ocean, Dolphins, Whales, A cat purring, the sound of a fan or soft music.
Keep Your Sleep Schedule Consistent.
Once you’ve established what time you’d like to go to bed it’s important that you are consistent in going to bed at the same time each night. Yes, that also includes the times when you are on vacation. At the very minimum, you want to get at least seven hours of sleep. If your bedtime routine includes showering, brushing your teeth, flossing be sure to account for those tasks to allow yourself enough time to complete them while maintaining your set bedtime. Part of being consistent is making sure you wake up at the same time.
Break These Bad Habits.
Avoid heavy meals right before going to bed. Do your best to maintain a consistent meal time that allows plenty of time to digest, at least 5 hours before you’re ready to go to bed. If you are prone to experiencing acid reflux, heartburn, GERD then you’ll want to avoid consuming any foods/drinks right before your ready for bed that may trigger an episode, as the uncomfortable feeling will only keep you awake longer than you’d expect.
Speaking of food and drinks before bed, you’ll also want to avoid consuming coffee at least 8 hours before your scheduled bedtime. Caffeinated foods and drinks to avoid are Chocolate, Coffee or Chocolate Ice cream, Soft Drinks (soda), and Tylenol contain enough caffeine to keep you awake. Decaffeinated coffee and teas are deceiving, they are not caffeine free and should also be avoided before bedtime.
If you find that you’re still not asleep after 20 minutes, it’s best to get out of bed until you feel sleepy then try again. Rather than tossing and turning and forcing yourself to fall asleep when you’re not ready, you can try watching TV, listening to music, reading a book or even practice meditation and breathing techniques in another room. Once your eyes start feeling heavy and you find it hard to stay awake, that is when you go back to your bedroom and put your head down.
Refrain from keeping your cell phone, tablet, mobile device within arms reach as those tend to be the greatest distraction. The bright screen keeps your mind engaged and it’s far too easy to lose track of time when your scrolling through posts, newsfeeds and watching videos.
While setting an alarm clock is necessary for most of us, this device is also a great distraction. If you find yourself watching the time, checking the clock to see what time it is, it may be in your best interest to remove that temptation. Place the alarm clock on the opposite end of your bedroom or simply set it and turn it around so that you can’t see the time.
Healthy Habits to Start.
Combining a proper healthy diet with regular exercise will not only help you to feel better, but they will increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep each night. Here are a few healthy foods/drinks that may help you fall asleep easier.
• Bananas- contain tryptophan
• Cherries, Tart Cherry Juice or Dried Cherries they all contain melatonin, which is sleep-regulating chemical that our body naturally produces.
• Oatmeal- a small bowl of oatmeal while rich in carbohydrates also contains melatonin and Vitamin B6 which helps to reduce stress.
• Almonds- This healthy snack contains magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can interfere with getting restful sleep.
• Chamomile Tea or a Sleepy Time Tea will help you to relax so that you can fall asleep easier.
Beyond just helping you sleep better these foods and others can help your skin even look younger.
Consult your doctor or a Sleep Specialist if you suffer from any of these sleep disorders:
Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome, or Narcolepsy.