Hello Everyone. This is a guest post by Chris.
Sleep is something that we all are supposed to get at least eight hours of every night. It’s been medically proven that a lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems from fatigue to weight gain.
However, lots of us have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep after we go to bed. Here are some tips to help you to have better sleep:
1. Keep Your Bedroom Cool: The temperature in your bedroom can make the difference between a good sleep and no sleep. If it’s too hot, you will burn up and sweat and if it’s too cold, you will freeze and shiver. So, the optimum sleeping temperature has been shown to be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for a good night’s rest.
2. Turn Off The Electronics Before Bed: Another thing that tends to keep people in wake mood is all of today’s modern technology. If you want your brain to start thinking about sleep, then it’s best to start dimming your lights and turning off the electronics like the phones, computers, TVs, etc., about an hour before you expect to hit the sack. This signals to your brain that it’s time to power down and rest.
3. Don’t Drink Any Caffeine In The Afternoon: Caffeine is something that is meant to keep someone awake and give them energy, which is the opposite of what someone trying to sleep needs. Stop drinking any caffeine containing drink or eating anything with caffeine by several hours before you expect to go to bed to make sure the caffeine energy jolt is out of your system.
4. Get Some Regular Exercise: Studies by the National Sleep Foundation have shown that regular exercise can help our bodies to get better sleep. Just a few minutes a day of activity can add up to hours more of sleep at night. However, be sure to get that exercise in within a few hours of bedtime or it will have the opposite effect and could keep you awake instead of sending you to dreamland.
5. Stop Taking Naps: While a power nap of 15 or so minutes can help restore some people’s energy levels, it could cause others to not sleep at night. Instead of taking a nap, try to go to bed an hour earlier or if you can swing it, sleep an hour later in the morning. This way you get the REM sleep you need.
6. Don’t Drink Alcohol At Night Before You Go To Bed: While it seems like alcohol makes us sleepy and that it would be a good thing to use to help us go to sleep, it really isn’t a good idea to use it as a nightcap. That’s because that sleep affect wears off after a few hours and you will wake up feeling worse than before.
7. Put On Some Warm Socks: Studies have shown that if a person’s feet or hands are cold, they may have trouble sleeping. So, try wearing some warm, clean socks on your feet at night and see if you are able to get to slumber land easier.
8. Keep That Bedroom Dark: Another thing that keeps people from sleeping is light. Believe it or not, even the glow from an alarm clock or your glow in the dark watch could be what the culprit is keeping you up at night. Make sure there is no light by wearing an eye mask or installing blackout blinds in your bedroom for a better sleep at night.
9. Don’t Eat A Lot At Night Before Bed: Another thing to avoid at bedtime is a heavy or greasy meal. If you eat a lot then you will be digesting that food as you sleep. Protein takes a long time to digest, for example, so your stomach could be gurgling or otherwise in the digestive phase and that could make you uncomfortable and get gas or bloating, which will keep you awake.
10. The Bedroom Should Only Be For Sleep Or Sex: Bedrooms are for sleeping or making love. That’s all. You shouldn’t keep a TV in the bedroom or even read in bed. If you get your brain thinking the room is reserved for sleeping and sex and nothing else, then you might have better sleep at night.
11. Meditation Or Prayer Can Help You Fall Asleep: Finding a way to get your mind to slow down and not race and think about everything in the world except sleeping is something you need to have a good night’s rest. Try some meditation, prayer or maybe some light yoga to slow down your breathing or heart rate and help you to sleep. Deep breaths or simple breathing exercises can also help some people because it stimulates the body’s natural sleeping cycle.
12. Try Some Aromatherapy Or A Hot Bath: Studies have shown that the smell of lavender helps to entice sleep. Try putting a few drops of lavender oil onto your pillow at night for a better sleep. Or, for some people a nice, cozy hot bath helps them to relax and get into a sleep mode. This brings your temperature down when you get out of the bath and that signifies a time for the body to power down and rest.
13. Get Checked For Sleep Apnea: Do you snore? That could be a sign of sleep apnea, which is when someone stops breathing during the night. Some people start and stop breathing as much as hundreds of times for a few seconds at a time at night. In mild cases you can do things like wear a mouth guard, sleep in a different position, or lose some weight. However, in severe cases some people need to be fitted with a CPAP machine which uses continuous airway pressure to keep your breathing regular. This requires a prescription from a doctor after an overnight test to see if you stop breathing at night.
14. Melatonin Sleeping Aid: Melatonin supplements are natural sleep aids that are more likely to help you sleep then prescription sleeping pills. These supplements work with your bodies natural sleep processes and have helped millions of people get better sleep. Make sure to discuss this option with your health professional first.
The bottom line is that many of us have problems sleeping at night and by trying out some of the above tips you may end up sleeping better.