If you don’t get enough sleep, not only will you be tired and irritable the next day, it also puts a strain on your body. If you do suffer with insomnia on a regular basis, it would be a good idea to take some steps that will help you get back into a regular sleep pattern.
Here are ten simple things that you can do that will help you get a good night’s sleep.
1. Sleep when you are ready to
As anyone who does suffer with insomnia will know, you can’t make yourself fall asleep. Experts recommend that, if you can’t get to sleep after about twenty minutes, you’d be better off getting up again and doing something relaxing, like reading a book, or listening to some music. Don’t, however, switch on a computer, because the light from that will make you feel even more awake.
2. Create a pre-sleep routine
Another great tip on how to improve sleep is to create a pre-sleep routine. You can help prepare your body for sleep if you have an hour or so winding down time before you go to bed. In the hour before bedtime, avoid doing anything stressful, like checking your work emails, and try to do things that will relax you. A hot bath is a good idea, because the changes in body temperature that it creates will help to relax your body.
3. Go to bed at the same time every night
If you keep changing the time that you go to bed, your body will never get into a regular sleep pattern. Set yourself a time to go to bed, and a time for getting up, and stick to those times, even at the weekends. Your body has an internal clock that works a lot better if you keep your sleep pattern regular.
4. Make your bedroom as cosy as possible
See what you can do to make your bedroom environment more conducive to sleep. You could buy heavier curtains to keep out the light and make sure that the room is properly ventilated and not too hot. If noise from outside is a problem, try using earplugs to block that noise out. You may also consider changing your mattress if it is getting a bit old.
5. Avoid naps during the day
Taking a nap during the day will help you get over a sleepless night, but if you do it too often, it will disrupt your sleep pattern and your body will come to expect it. You might have to force yourself to stay awake during the day to make sure that you sleep at night. It won’t take long before your body gets used to the new routine.
6. Lighten your evening meal
A heavy meal, just before you go to bed, will keep you awake, because your body will be working hard to digest that food and you might also get indigestion. So another useful tip on how to improve sleep is to try eating more during the day and make your evening meal a lighter one. It is also better if you eat your main evening meal at least two hours before for you go to bed.
7. Don’t doze off in the evenings
You should also try not to doze off after you have eaten your evening meal. We’ve all done it! You have a nice meal, a glass of wine, and then you fall asleep in front of the TV. The problem is, though, when you wake yourself up again to go to bed, your body will think that it’s the morning, and you will have trouble getting back off to sleep again.
8. Avoid coffee in the afternoons and evenings
Another good tip on how to improve sleep is to avoid coffee in the afternoons and evenings. As we all know, caffeine is a stimulant and it will keep you awake. If you are experiencing difficulties with sleeping, try cutting out all caffeinated drinks from lunchtime onwards. Caffeine stays in the body for longer than you think, so avoid coffee, colas and even chocolate in the afternoons and evenings, and it should help you sleep better.
9. Don’t rely on alcohol to get you to sleep
Alcohol has the rather odd effect of making you drowsy to begin with, but then acting as a stimulant that will wake you up later on in the night. It is best to limit your alcohol consumption and then you will get a better quality of sleep throughout the night. It’s also never a good idea to self-medicate with alcohol.
10. Don’t clock watch
If you do have a sleepless night, try not to fret about it because your body can cope quite easily with one or two sleepless nights. When it does happen, turn the alarm clock away from you, so that you don’t keep looking at the time. Watching the clock tick around will only make you more anxious and that will just make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Stay happy and healthy!