Suffering from sleeplessness can leave you feeling distressed and frustrated, so here are some tips that you can follow throughout the day and some habits to get into at night time to give you a little helping hand when you’re trying to get to sleep.
Making your bedroom an ideal sleeping environment:
Your bedroom needs to be the right environment to encourage sleep, so making sure that it’s dark, quiet and cool. It needs to be a place where you can feel relaxed before sleeping, so avoid activities like watching telly or playing video games and focus on calming activities like light reading or listening to soothing music. Always keep lights dimmed as too much artificial light will hinder your ability to fall asleep and if you can’t make your bedroom dark enough, try using a sleeping mask.
Associate your bed with sleeping, not sleeplessness:
Use your bedroom for sleeping and sex only, as this will help the brain to associate your bed with these 2 activities. Never bring arguments, anxiety or stress to the bedroom so that your brain and body know that bed means going to sleep or being romantic. If you can’t sleep, don’t force yourself to stay in bed - go into a different room to try and relax and unwind before going back to bed. Tossing and turning in bed will only make you feel more stressed and frustrated that you’re not falling asleep and will lead to clock-watching. Turn clocks away from you and leave the room if you’re not sleeping.
Say no to caffeine after midday:
There’s nothing wrong with giving ourselves a little boost with caffeine in the morning, but it’s definitely not something that you should be drinking all day long. It is suggested that after 7 hours, much of this particular stimulant will be out of our systems; however 25% of it could still be there. Try to avoid coffee, tea and energy drinks in the afternoon and especially in the evenings, as it could be a recipe for sleeplessness that night. Also avoid other stimulants like alcohol and nicotine as they can severely disrupt your REM stage and other deep stages of sleep.
Exercise in the morning:
Sleep experts recommend that you avoid evening workouts because it can take hours for our adrenaline levels to return to normal. If you wish to exercise, build up a good routine and maybe go for a run first thing in the morning or have a gym session straight after work - in fact the only exercise you should be doing before you sleep is having sex. After intercourse men’s bodies flood with prolactin, a hormone that is naturally higher during sleep. Add some oxytocin to the mix, which is known as the cuddle hormone also associated with sleep, and it’s no wonder that men are asleep within minutes after sex! But it works just as well for women too, as they produce more of the oxytocin hormone after sex, allowing you to get a great night sleep.
If you have trouble relaxing properly before bed, then you may want to try some soothing herbal remedies that aid a natural sleep. Try taking some herbal tea a little while before going to bed or try a herbal remedy like Nytol Herbal Tablets that contain hops, valerian and passion flower that all work together to calm, sooth and gently encourage a natural sleep. You could also try aromatherapy oils like rose or lavender that are known for their calming and relaxing properties. Other oils you could try if you’re feeling particularly emotional, anxious or stressed include vetiver, frankincense or clary sage.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do to get a good night sleep is simply to relax. Relaxing and unwinding is the most important part of your evening, so never skip on some me-time! Try to start relaxing from when you get home and especially in the hour before you go to bed. Sometimes with cooking dinners, facing bills and trying to get children to bed, relaxing when you get home can seem a struggle, but make sure you do get 5 minutes at least where you’re relaxing alone. Take a hot bath, sit and drink some herbal tea or do some reading and you’ll soon be feeling tired and ready for bed.