Note: This post is written by Dante Munnis
Getting a good night of sleep is beneficial for both physical and mental health. When we don’t get enough sleep, we struggle to concentrate, are frequently moody, and our reaction time is slowed. In fact, sleep deprivation can impair our ability to drive in the same way that drinking does.
Unfortunately, in spite of the dangers of sleep deprivation, many of us simply do not get the hours of restful sleep that we truly need every night. If sleep is an issue for you, try out a few of the following sleeping tips.
1. Stop using all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Televisions, radios, smartphones, and other devices are a constant source of visual and auditory stimulation. In order to go to sleep in a timely manner, turn these items off a half hour before going to bed.
2. Drink a calming cup of herbal tea.
A warm or cold cup of chamomile or other herbal tea that contains ingredients that can help you to relax will help you settle in for a good night of sleep.
3. Exercise during the day.
Exercising during the day can improve your ability to fall asleep faster and to spend more time in a deep and restful state of sleep.
4. Keep a constant sleep schedule.
Shift workers, people who work varying shifts, often have major sleep difficulties. This is because their bedtimes are constantly changing. If you can avoid it, try not to change the times you go to sleep and wake up by very much.
5. Avoid napping.
Daytime napping is often the culprit if you have night time sleep issues.
6. Turn your mattress and get a new one every few years.
Because most people tend to sleep in the same spot, their beds often form lumps and dents. Try flipping your mattress over every couple of months to create a comfortable sleep surface. Most importantly, don’t go too many years without replacing your mattress.
7. Sleep with the highest quality sheets and pillows you can afford.
Flimsy, chintzy sheets are scratchy and uncomfortable, and so are cheap lumpy pillows. Consider upgrading your linens and pillows if you are able to.
8. Use a humidifier if the air in your room is too dry.
Trying to sleep in a dry room is miserable. You will wake up feeling parched and uncomfortable. A cool mist humidifier can help with that.
9. Try sleeping with a fan on low speed.
Running a fan can cool you down on hot nights. It also creates a bit of white noise and circulates the air in your room.
10. Stay hydrated during the day.
If you take in enough fluids throughout the day, you will be less likely to need to get up in the middle of the night for a drink.
11. Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes to bed.
Attractive pajamas are not always the best for sleeping. They are often too form fitting and are too constricting for a comfortable night of sleep. Consider a comfortable pair of shorts and t-shirt instead.
12. Write in a journal just before going to sleep.
If your sleep is frequently delayed because your mind continues to think about various things when you are trying to sleep, try writing in a journal. Getting those random thoughts out can help you go to sleep sooner.
Meditation can be a great way to place your body in a relaxed state that is ideal for sleep.
14. Sleep in a dark room.
The circadian rhythms of adults tell us that we should sleep at night. Darkness is one way to signal to our brains that it is time for sleeping.
15. Create a nightly ritual.
If you complete the same actions in the same order before going to bed each night, your mind and body will soon see that as a sign that you should sleep.
16. Take a supplement to aid in sleep.
Melatonin or other supplements can help you fall asleep and stay asleep without the worry of stronger pain medications.
17. Refrain from drinking alcohol.
Drinking may help you to fall asleep, but you won’t get the benefits of deep and restful sleep.
18. Don’t overdo caffeine in the evenings.
You might be tempted to drink a cup of coffee as an after dinner pick me up, but you will likely regret it at bedtime. Instead switch to something decaffeinated like juice or water.
19. Don’t eat too close to bedtime.
It is hard to fall asleep when your body is busy digesting food. It’s even more difficult if you have heartburn or indigestion.
20. Avoid fluids in the hour or two before bed.
This will prevent nightly waking and trips to the bathroom.
21. Avoid arguing or talking about tense issues just before bed.
Try to avoid any conversation that will leave you upset or worried as you try to go to sleep.
22. Reserve the bedroom for sleep.
The bedroom should not be a place that your mind associates with reading, working, or other activities.
23. Sleep with the clock facing away from you.
If you are struggling to go to sleep, you don’t need the constant reminder of how late it is getting.
24. Quit smoking.
As you sleep, your body is going through nicotine withdrawal which can cause sleep disturbances.
25. Check your medications.
If you take medications, check to see if any of them contain stimulants. If they do, consider asking your physician if there is a substitute or talk to your pharmacist.
Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web related topics and success issues. You can find more of Dan’s articles on EssayRepublic and get in touch via Twitter.