Have you had yet another night of staring up at the ceiling, eyes held open by the anxiety of tomorrow’s trials and tribulations?
Is every morning complemented by the struggle of dragging yourself out of bed to the rhythmic wailing of the alarm clock, wishing you’d had more hours of sleep and that you were not a self-diagnosed victim of insomnia?
You’ve tried everything, from exercising late at night to staying in your bedroom hours beforehand to prepare your mind and body for sleep, but you still find exhaustion looming over you throughout the day.
Relax…here are 5 tips to help you sleep naturally and get you well on your way to a life of good regular kip.
It is a common misconception that exercising just before you go to bed will tire you out to the point that you’ll fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, when, in fact, late night exercise can actually keep you awake for longer.
When you exercise, your body heats up due to the increased intensity of your pulse, which can adversely affect any attempts to avoid a sleepless night as the body needs to be a cool temperature to optimize the chances of falling asleep.
Regular exercise roughly between early morning and midday, however, can actually improve your sleeping pattern as it can relieve tension and stress as well as release endorphins, which help you relax and fall into a nice, deep slumber come bed time.
Create the Perfect Sleeping Environment
The environment you sleep in can play a big role in the difficulty you have getting to sleep.
Obviously, you’ll find it easier in a nice, quiet room, as opposed to standing against a wall in a nightclub next to the speakers. The point is, subtle factors can make all the difference, such as:
• Temperature of the room – not too cold and not too hot
• Lighting- darker the better
• Sounds – neighbor/street noise, dripping taps, creaky pipes
• Bedding – clean, mattress not too hard/soft
Try to control the environment as much as possible. People are different so adapt it to suit your needs – some might prefer the sound of waves or crickets rather than complete and absolute silence of anti-snoring aids.
Maintain a Regular Sleep Habit
Another sleep technique is to maintain regular sleeping hours.
The concept of a sleeping pattern is no myth, if your body falls into a natural rhythm, you will find it a lot easier to get to bed. Establishing a rough time at which you’ll feel sleepy can help you programme your body into a pattern, as biological clocks can be managed quite easily. This does not mean that you are to be only restricted to sleeping at night, though it can sometimes be just a tad more complicated to sleep at several intervals during the day and maintain this pattern.
Watch What You’re Eating & Drinking
There is a direct connection between food and sleep, so it’s worth taking notice of your diet, and all through the day, not just before bed time.
Food and drink high in caffeine for example will certainly keep you up, especially if they have been had in large quantities through the day or just before trying to go to sleep. Coffee, tea, carbonated drinks (soda, cola, etc.), energy drinks and chocolate make up the list of usual suspects that will keep you buzzing well into the early hours of the morning, due to the changes that caffeine creates in the chemistry of your brain.
Deal with Stress
If it’s tomorrow’s tasks that are the barrier keeping you from the warm, snuggly embrace of sleep, then the solution is at hand.
Simply write down your worries and assess them:
• How important they are
• How long you have to deal with them
• Possible solutions
Do this before you go to bed so they are no longer a persistent source of worry when you lie down. The idea is to separate the time for being active and dealing with these problems from the time that is required for rest, allowing you free to count sheep and not your troubles. You should be aware of the fact that these methods may not help you transition from wide-eyed and bushy-tailed to sawing logs in an instant, but if done properly, they can improve not only the quantity but the quality of your sleep, leaving you refreshed and ready for a new day.
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Author: Danny Solomou