As anyone who’s ever suffered through true insomnia can tell you, a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to your well being. Poor sleep can leave you exhausted, run down, and even ill. It affects all aspects of your health, from your mood to your appetite. If you’ve been battling in bed at night and can’t seem to sleep well, make sure you follow these 7 tips to get your habits in check.
1. Get comfortable
When it comes to beds, what works for some people can be a disaster for others. Make sure your bed is completely comfortable for your personal needs. For example, someone who suffers from back pain will likely need a firmer mattress than someone who doesn’t. Find a cheap mattress that suits your preferences perfectly, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different beds until you find one that feels right.
2. Get fit
For most of us, exercise is a positive thing all round. Not only can it improve your heart health and bring your weight into a healthy range, physical exercise could also help you sleep more soundly. If you’re new to fitness, even slow walks around your neighborhood can be a great start. Work your way up to more vigorous exercise and you should find it easier to fall asleep at night.
3. Get the temperature right
A room that’s too hot or too cold can make sleeping feel impossible. Most people sleep best in a room that’s cool but not cold, so adjust the temperature if you’re not feeling comfortable. Using a fan during the summer months can make it easier to settle.
4. Speak to your doctor
If your sleep has been poor for some time and you’ve tried plenty of self-help and sleep hygiene methods without much of a change, it may be time to chat with a healthcare professional. A sleep study can assess whether you’ve got a sleep disorder that’s preventing you from getting rest. If insomnia is the problem, your doctor may prescribe medication to make it easier for you to sleep.
5. Wind down at the end of the day
Watching a heart-pumping action movie and then hopping straight into bed won’t make it easy to settle down and relax. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you fully wind down before you set your head down on the pillow. A hot bath with lavender oil, relaxing with a calming book, and listening to soft classical music can all be a great help.
6. Stay away from screens
The bright light emitted by computers and smartphones keep your brain fully switched on, making sleep elusive. While it may be tempting to stay up reading your Facebook newsfeed, if you really want to get a proper night’s sleep you’ll need to switch all of your electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Make a habit of it and you should find that your sleep improves over the long-term.
7. Cut out the naps
Napping can be helpful if you’re not sleeping at night and still need to be productive during the day, but it may be making your problems worse. Try to cut out the afternoon nap and save that sleepiness for the evening.