When you’ve found yourself in a situation where no matter what you do you simply cannot get the restful sleep you need, it’s natural to feel as if you are the only person in the world with such a problem. Of course common sense reminds us that it is in fact quite the opposite that is true as it is only a comparative minority of people who genuinely sleep like babies night after night.
As for the rest of us, having a little trouble getting to sleep from time to time is to a certain extent perfectly normal…despite the fact that it can really ruin your day/week/month. Of course there is a huge difference between these kinds of temporary and un-severe sleeping issues and those that blight lives perpetually – the latter almost always calling for professional help.
But for those who for the most part do not have lifelong problems with sleeping but just seem to have entered into something of a rut, what can be done to help aid better sleep every night?
1 – Exercise
Well, first of all it is a good idea to bear in mind that if you are not tired enough to sleep well, chances are you will not sleep well. As such, if your routine consists of doing little to no physical exercise throughout the day with no movement in the evening, you will naturally find it more difficult to fall asleep. Of course this is not to say that vigorous exercise right before going to bed is a good idea, but ensuring you do at least a little exercise during the day it very much is.
2 – Get Out of Bed
The temptation when feeling rather sleepy may be to Stay in Bed or at least on bed for various activities, but this is in every respect a bad idea. You basically need to get into a situation where your brain and your body, consciously and subconsciously, see your bed as a place reserved for restful sleep. So whether it’s watching TV, eating meals or working from home if applicable, all of these things should be done elsewhere.
3 – Cut the Screen Time
It’s been known for decades that the way in which watching TV and playing video games stimulates the brain doesn’t exactly help when it comes to switching off when going to sleep. These days however there’s even more to it than this as the vast majority of consumer technology devices – smartphones and tablet PCs for example emit a kind of light (blue light) that makes it even more difficult for the brain to shut down for sleep.
4 – The Best Environment Possible
The perfect environment in which to sleep is one that is cool, dark, quiet and calming. As such, if your bedroom has a tendency to become way too hot, is plagued by light pollution throughout the night or for whatever reason is exposed to nocturnal noise, you pretty much have yourself an exact blueprint of the problem…at least in most cases.
5 – Begin a Ritual
One of the problems faced by so many in the midst of a poor sleeping cycle is the way in which they actually begin to resent the idea of going to bed and therefore simply dive in when they’ve little other choice. Sleep experts however suggest it’s much better to get into a calming and relaxing sleep ritual that will over time work wonders. From hot chocolate to warm baths to soothing music and right through to evening beauty regimes, it’s all about conditioning your brain to prepare for sleep.
6 – Eat…Sensibly
Be careful and mindful when it comes to eating as just as it is almost impossible to go to sleep with an empty belly, the same can be said for overdoing it. It’s usually advised that something light be eaten at least 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep, but if you do find yourself seriously hungry right before lights out, it’s better to eat something sensible than to try and sleep hungry.
7 – Ban the Booze
What’s interesting about alcohol is that while it is technically speaking a depressant and never fails to make you feel sleepy if consumed during the day, it can actually have the exact opposite effect on you when you are trying to sleep. So if you’ve caught into the trap of assuming that a little drink before bed will in fact help, you might in fact be doing yourself more harm than good.
8 – Seek Advice
Last but not least, one of the very best ways of tackling these kinds of temporary sleep issues is to speak to a professional and gain the reassurance that there isn’t in fact anything to worry about. It’s natural to assume there’s something sinister at work when your sleep patterns become unpredictable and unpleasant to say the least, but chances are once you have been given the all clear by an expert, you’ll feel so much better your sleep patterns will improve naturally.