According to statistics, millions of adults in the US have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. It is safe to say that sleep deprivation is currently one of the biggest and most prevalent problems facing modern society. Sleep has a huge impact on one’s health, energy levels, and ability to function optimally. It is recommended that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel properly refreshed and function well in society.
If you’ve been dealing with sleepless nights – and it has become a constant problem – your first step towards alleviating your situation should be to assess your sleep patterns. Keep track of how long you sleep every night, how rested and energized you feel the next day, and the factors that are potentially contributing to your lack of sleep. Observe your sleep patterns for about one to two weeks.
After doing so, try out the following 5 strategies to help you improve your sleep:
- Keep light and sound to a minimum
Light and sound are two of the most critical environmental factors that affect your quantity and quality of sleep. Darkness stimulates the release of melatonin – the hormone associated with sleep. It should thus go without saying that you need to minimize your exposure to light as much as possible during bedtime. Keep in mind that even the seemingly harmless light emanating from your computer, smartphone, TV, or other devices has been found to hamper sleep. So, keep all these devices out of your bedroom. To create an ideal dark space, consider using a mask or blackout shades. Noise can also be a big hindrance to good quality sleep. A fan or a noise machine can help to drown out unnecessary noises.
- Get comfortable
It is estimated that the average adult spends one-third of their life sleeping. Considering that you spend a significant portion of your life on this one activity, it only makes sense that you invest in quality bedding that relaxes and comforts you. If you are confused by all of the different mattress choices read this guide how to choose a Nectar mattress. Temperature is another environmental factor that has a huge impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep. Consider lowering your thermostat a few degrees to pave the way to a good night’s sleep. Your core temperature naturally starts to drop when you are sleepy and drops a degree or two as you are sleeping. Keeping your room temperature cool significantly aids the process of sleeping.
- Stick to a routine
In the same way kids have an easier time falling and staying asleep when they have a bedtime routine, so do adults. Repeating the same sequence of activities every night before bedtime helps to condition your brain for sleep and prepare your body for sleep. Stick to things that help you relax like listening to soothing music, reading, meditation, and so on.
- Manage your stress levels
Stress and sleep are very closely linked. High stress levels adversely affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. If you find yourself constantly worrying or thinking negative thoughts during bedtime, try some proven stress management techniques like deep breathing, aromatherapy, meditation, and keeping a gratitude journal.
- Get up
Lying in bed awake worrying about your inability to fall asleep or the amount of sleep you are missing only makes it harder to fall asleep. Your best move is to get out of bed and engage in relaxation activities that will help you fall asleep. This can be deep breathing, reading an uninteresting book, or practicing a relaxation technique. Go to bed when you start feeling sleepy.
Sleep should be an important priority. Even if you feel that you are getting enough sleep, these tips can prove to be beneficial.
If even after following the above tips, you are still struggling to get enough sleep, we have provided some additional tips to help you better deal with your situation and potentially improve your quality of sleep:
Engage in some gentle stretches prior to going to bed to help you relax.
Switch off your electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.
Keep a written log of your sleep schedule.
Make necessary adjustments as you go until you eliminate factors that are hindering you from getting enough sleep.