Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. With everything going on in the world many of us are lying awake at night trying desperately to get some shut eye. That’s bad news for our brains as we need consistent, quality sleep to function at peak performance. Try these ten ways to ease yourself into a peaceful night’s rest and hopefully morning will come a little more easily.
1) Check the thermostat.
Before going to bed, by turning the temperature down just a notch, you’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Studies show that a slight dip in body temperature coincides with that deep, restful sleep you’ve been looking for. The recommended sleeping temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler.
2) Break out the wine glasses.
Drinking a glass of wine before bed can do wonders if you’re struggling to relax. Just one glass of wine can relieve muscle tension and calm the mind – two important factors in relaxation.
3) Clear your mind.
To fall asleep, you need to be relaxed in both mind and body. One of the most practiced methods of clearing your mind is simple meditation. Slowly breathe through your nose deeply. Hold your breath for a second or two, then release, counting to four. By focusing on your breath, your mind will let go of the day’s stress and begin to slow down. At the same time, the deep breathing helps to relax your muscles.
4) Don’t be afraid to nap.
It’s okay to nap – but not for too long. In order to maintain proper sleeping patterns, you should nap for no more than 20 minutes a day. A quick nap can relax your body, reset your attitude, and boost your energy until bedtime.
5) Give heed to your circadian rhythm.
Circadian rhythm is the body’s natural clock that governs your sleeping patterns. A healthy person will usually become tired between 9pm and 11pm and then sleep for up to 8 hours. Pay attention to your rhythm. Staying up later than 11pm or sleeping for longer than 8 hours can be detrimental to your body’s long term health.
6) Limit caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant that has many side effects, including increasing the heart rate, increasing metabolism (for the amount of time that the caffeine is in your body), and insomnia. In order to get a better night’s rest, avoid drinking caffeine or taking caffeine stimulants (such as pills) for up to four hours before bedtime.
7) Don’t drink too much before bed.
Avoid large amounts of fluids for a few hours before bed, especially if you are prone to getting up in the middle of the night to use the rest room.
8) Use a white noise machine.
A white noise machine helps to block background noise from your sleeping environment, such as dogs barking, traffic, and sirens. Also, there is a belief that white noise can be effective in relaxing people because it is similar to the sound that you hear while in the womb.
9) Keep a note pad by your bed.
If you have a difficult time sleeping because you lie in bed trying to remember your to-do list or you constantly think of new ideas, then keep a notepad on your night stand and write down your list and thoughts. This gets them off of your mind and frees you to drift off to sleep.
Exercise helps to relax your muscles, use energy stores (calories), and wear your body out. However, because it increases the heart rate, it is wise to exercise no less than four hours before bedtime in order to give yourself time to come back down.
Keep in mind that we’re all different and respond to sleep in our own way. Some people need more or less than others, and some find that things such as alcohol late in the evening worsen their sleep. However, as long as you get into a pattern that works for your lifestyle and learn proper relaxation techniques that help you achieve lasting sleep, you’ll be well on your way to establishing healthy sleeping habits that will last a lifetime.
Hopefully the above tips on how to sleep peacefully will help you get a good night’s rest. Have trouble waking up? Wake up lights or dawn simulators may be the answer.
What works for you? Anyone have a specific routine that works well? Share it in the comment section below.
Also, have you tried the 4-7-8 breathing technique for getting a peaceful sleep?
You may also be interested in our review of the Best White Noise Machines for Sleeping.