Trouble falling asleep? Maybe you’re stressed from work, worried about a loved one or just got the monkey mind going. You know, the inner chatter that just won’t shut up when you need it to. Whatever the reason is, know that it’s completely normal as we all experience this once in a while. Are you wondering what you can do to get back into a normal sleep routine again? Well, you came to the right place. I've got you covered with these 5 Steps On How To Sleep Better At Night.
About The Author:
For over 5 years, Bernie Chan suffered from sleep problems. After consulting numerous doctors and trying just about every product on the market, she’s learned a few things or two and has made it her mission to help others sleep better! In her spare time, you can find Bernie lifting in the gym, playing with her cocker spaniel-retriever mix or experimenting in the kitchen. Want to learn how to sleep better? Check out www.thesleepsavvy.com
If you’re consistently not having enough rest at night, it’s time to get a deeper understanding of what happens to your body during the different Sleep Stages & REM. Also, go see your family doctor if you think you might have a sleeping disorder. They can give you a professional diagnosis, advice and treatment to help you get better.
How To Sleep Better At Night
1. Exhaust Yourself
Hit the gym. I think we all know this already, but nothing will knock you out for the night like exercising. It’s great for you physically as well as your mental well-being. As little as 10 minutes a day of physical activity can improve your sleep quality and increase sleep duration. Amazing, right? I did a little experiment on myself for 3 months and kept track of my sleep quality every night. I found that if I didn't go to the gym I had a harder time falling asleep that night and was easily woken up. True story!
Just remember to work out at least a few hours before you go to bed. You don’t want to go late at night because your core temperature will rise. This might overstimulate your body and mind, which won’t allow you to drift off to sleep easily. I’d recommend exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This way, there’s nothing to puke out if you go too hard. No pain, no gain. Now, drop and give me 10 push-ups stat!
2. Plug Your Senses
Like most people, you probably also need darkness and a quiet place in order to sleep. Why are these two things so important? Well, did you know that light influences the timing of our internal clock? “Our internal clock has a strong influence on our ability to sleep regularly over the course of a 24-hour period.” This explains why shift workers and people with jet lag often have insomnia. Naturally, you can still hear when you’re asleep, so it’s not uncommon for loud sounds to jolt you out of slumber.
So what do you do when you have light from outside seeping in and noisy neighbors? Invest in a good pair of sleeping eye mask and ear plugs! You don’t have to spend a lot of money here and that's proven by this Ergonomic Sleep Mask Gift Set. Don’t like the thought of something covering your eyes at night? Use blackout curtains instead. Many hotels have these curtains, so chances are you probably used with them before. Personally, I prefer sleep shades over curtains, because I don’t particularly like waking up to complete darkness.
3. Put Devices Away
We’ve all heard this one before, and there’s a good reason for it! Our smart devices emit blue light, which is great during the day because it can “boost attention, reaction times and mood. But it’s disruptive at night. Blue light can radically shift your circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin which is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycles. In fact, every hour of blue light exposure at night will delay your melatonin production by 30 minutes.
You might be wondering, I’m on my laptop, phone and tablet all the time, so what can I do about it? Try some blue light blocker glasses, download f.lux on your desktop and put down your smart devices 1-2 hours before bed. Maybe try picking up a paper book! If you really need to work during the evening, swap out your light bulb for a dim red light instead. Why? Because red light is the least disruptive to our circadian rhythm and melatonin production.
Tip: It’s probably best to not even charge your laptop or smartphone in your bedroom. Maybe, recharge it in your living room instead. This way you can avoid any radiation and you won’t be tempted to check your messages!
4. Follow A Routine
Human beings crave structure and we love the familiar. So give yourself a nightly routine to follow an hour or so before bed time. If you’re consistent with it, your body will know when to wind down and STAY asleep throughout the night. It just takes some training and time to adjust. Now, I’m not going to lie and say that it’s easy to change a habit. It’s definitely not, but it’s worth it! Here are some suggestions from Shawn Steveston, the sleep hacker expert:
- Body Work - Reduce the daily wear-and-tear on your body with some self-massage using a lacrosse ball, add in some bedtime yoga stretches and throw in a quick 10 minute meditation.
- Hot Shower or Bath - Soothe your tired muscles, but do it at least 90 minutes before bed to allow your body temperature to cool down. If you want to treat yourself, add in a few drops of lavender essential oil and handfuls of epsom salt.
- Journaling - Process what happened today by physically writing it out. You can write out goals you want to accomplish, any worries you may have or even your to-do list for tomorrow. Anything to get things out of your mind.
5. Magnesium Supplements
Did you know that there are over 300 microchemical reactions that your body can’t do if you don’t have enough Magnesium (Mg) in your system? Usually found in our bones and in our blood, Mg is an essential mineral that our body does not produce on its own. Instead we have to eat our dosage through leafy greens, fruit, nuts and other high-fiber food sources. One of its many benefits is being a natural muscle relaxant.
I can attest to this. I’ve been prescribed magnesium supplements from a Naturopathic Doctor before, and I have to say that it really does work. It’s not like melatonin, where it makes you groggy. This stuff is way more gentle to your body. Mg also aids in reducing your stress levels. Even if you don’t think you have a stressful life, the air or food quality can take a toll on your body. Don’t over consume though! It can relax you too much...as in you’ll get the runs. Just follow the instructions on your magensium supplement bottle and you’ll be just fine.
How To Sleep Better At Night Conclusion
There you have it, my 5 Steps On How To Sleep Better At Night. Keep these in mind to try when you have your next can’t-fall-asleep spell. On a different note, are you also a parent that is having trouble getting your baby to sleep at night? If so, check out 7 Tips To Make Baby Sleep Through The Night.