I would like to think that it is pretty common knowledge that sleep is good for you. Adequate sleep is even better. It is suggested that we get a full 8 hours. Now, I don’t know about y’all, but my sleep patterns aren’t the best. Trying to fit in 8 hours of sleep each night with kids and daily life is practically impossible for me.
Not only is life busy, but I tend to worry and stress quite a bit. If I had a quarter for every time I laid down at night only to feel restless, I could retire right this minute. I am a wife, mother, and nurse with 5,000 duties and worried. What better time to ruminate on those than when I lay down to rest?
What I can do, though, is practice some healthy tips and use helpful tricks to hopefully get the most out of the time I should be resting. So here is a list of 15 tricks to help you fall asleep:
- Develop A Bedtime Routine. Train your body to know when it is bedtime. It will become accustomed to the patterns and should make going to sleep easier.
- Don’t Spend Too Much Time Trying To Fall Asleep. If you have been actively trying to fall asleep for over 20 minutes, find something to occupy your time. I like to read. It gives me something to do and also helps me wind down. Having 5 hours of restful sleep is better than 8 hours of tossing and turning.
- Adjust the thermostat. What temp is easiest for you to rest at? Make sure you are cool and comfortable. No one wants to sleep in a furnace.
- Avoid eating late meals. I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t eat late at night. It keeps me from sleeping soundly. By avoiding eating large dinners or late snacks, I can rest a little easier.
- Be active during the day. Expending some extra energy with physical activity, during the day time, is shown to help with better sleep at night. Just another benefit of exercise. Remember, some is better than none.
- Warm your body up upon waking by taking a warm shower or moving those muscle. Your body temp decreases while sleeping to allow for better rest. By increasing your body’s temperature, you’re allowing it to better determine “daytime” and “nighttime”.
- Avoid stimulants before bed. Steering clear of excess caffeine and sugar, especially before bed, may make falling asleep easier.
- No bright lights. Remember, your body is like a well-made machine that recognizes its surroundings and responds. Bright lights=daytime, which tells your body to be alert. So, while getting ready for bed, dim the lights around you and on your devices.
- Make it cool, dark, and quiet. Your body tends to rest more easily with room temperatures at 64-68 degrees. Cool it down and reduce lights and sounds as much as possible. Let your body know it’s time to rest.
- Try a melatonin supplement. Our body’s pineal gland produces melatonin naturally, however the amount produced may reduce with age. Since this hormone helps to control sleep and awake cycles, it is important to make sure your body has enough. Sometimes a physician may suggest an ordered dosage at night to help you rest.
- Start with sunshine. Beginning your morning with natural light from sunshine helps to reset your biological clock and regulate melatonin and cortisol levels.
- Eating for sleep. Keeping around foods that are rich in magnesium and Vitamin B6 is a good idea as a deficiency of these substances can be linked to insomnia. Think dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, bananas.
- Stick with a schedule. As hard as it can be, it is good to try as keep as close to the same waking and sleeping schedule as possible each day.
- Use essential oils. We keep these around all the time. I could probably run a pharmacy off of them. Essential oils have many benefits, and many help with sleep. Lavender is a great example as it assists with relaxation and calming.
- Stretch it out. Loosen those tight muscles by stretching before tucking in for the night. You may also wish to practice yoga to use those stress-relieving stretches and to relax the mind.
Hopefully these few tips can help you, and I, catch a few extra 💤’s and hold the cranky sleepless monster at bay. Have a wonderful Sunday!
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