Many people don’t get enough sleep at night due to tossing and turning all night and not falling into a deep slumber. Poor sleeping habits are like a boomerang, they leave your tired throughout the day, then you don’t sleep well again at night and the scenario just keeps repeating itself. When you sleep well, you need fewer hours in the bed at night to wake up revitalized, refreshed and ready to start a new day. Some sleeping tips can help you to move less and rest more peacefully.
Set a Sleep Schedule
Just as you try to keep a baby or child on a sleep schedule, you should also set a sleep schedule for yourself as an adult. Set a time that you go to bed every night and wake up every morning at the same time. Don’t sleep in late on your days off work, weekends or holidays. This can disrupt your sleeping cycle and confuse your body. The sleep-wake cycle is your circadian rhythm. Most people require about 8 hours of sleep and 16 hours of waking time in a 24-hour period to feel good and refreshed every day.
If you lie down and don’t fall asleep within approximately 15 to 20 minutes, get up out of bed and do something that relaxes you, such as reading a book. When you begin to get tired, go back to bed. If you get uptight because you can’t sleep, it will take longer to fall asleep at night.
Eating and Drinking Before Bed
Either eating a heavy meal or not eating enough can cause your tummy to be upset and not allow you to sleep well. If you eat your dinner at night early in the evening, you may find a light snack before bedtime will help you sleep. Maybe try a banana, a half sandwich or a cup of milk to satisfy your hunger.
Limit your liquids before bedtime to avoid waking up in the night for bathroom trips. You should avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol too. Nicotine and caffeine before bed can keep you awake for hours as they take some time for the waking effects to wear off. Alcohol can make you sleepy, but it can also disrupt your sleep for quite a while after you lie down.
Create a Relaxing Bedroom
The ideal room for sleeping is dark, quiet and cool. You can use blackout shades or curtains on your bedroom windows to keep outside noises from disturbing you and keep lights out of your room. Consider a fan in your room. Many people get used to the soothing sound and the air movement in their bedrooms and they actually need a fan on to fall asleep. There are also fan noisemakers and sleeping noisemakers that use soothing waves or birds calling to help people get to sleep.
Choose Comfortable Bedding
Choose a mattress and pillow or pillows that are comfortable for you. Old mattresses break down, give you less body support and need replacing. You can try a new type of mattress that may be more comfortable than your old coil spring type. Memory foam, gel foam and natural latex are popular types that many chiropractors endorse for their comfort.
Make sure your bed is large enough for two people if someone sleeps with you. If you constantly run into your partner when you roll over, then you should choose a larger size bed. You may also decide not to let pets sleep with you because they tend to move a lot at night and can disturb your sleep.
Limit Daytime Napping
If you take a nap in the daytime, because you don’t get good sleep at night, it affects the level of deep sleep that you get in the night. If you must nap, set a clock for about 10 to 30 minutes for a catnap sometime in the afternoon.
Get Physical in the Daytime
People who exercise in any manner usually sleep better at night. Simple items like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, stretching, yoga and riding an exercise bike can help you to secure restful sleep. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime though. Exercise can energize you and not allow you to fall asleep.
When you lie down to sleep and have stressful thoughts running through your mind, you most likely will not be able to fall asleep. Taking a warm shower before bedtime with a soothing lavender soap can help relax you. If you have too much to do the next day and feel you are falling behind, get organized and make a schedule or list of things you need to do. It helps to write things down and set them aside so they don’t invade your sleep.