Sleep matters. Getting sufficient shuteye helps you to feel refreshed and ready to face the day, and when you’re enjoying some much needed rest, your body engages in tissue repair and memory consolidation. If you don’t get enough slumber, you can become irritable and your judgement and memory can suffer. Long-term sleeplessness can even increase your risk of serious medical problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.
However, it’s one thing knowing that you need plenty of sleep and another actually getting it. Like lots of people, you might struggle to nod off at night when your head hits the pillow. The good news is, help is at hand. If you’re determined to tackle your insomnia, take a look at these 10 great remedies.
1) Create the perfect sleeping environment
One potential barrier between you and a decent night’s kip is your bedroom. For example, a poor quality bed can make drifting off into peaceful slumber virtually impossible. To help ensure you’re able to achieve the perfect sleeping position, it’s worth taking a look at our selection of adjustable beds. These products have the added advantage of featuring built-in massage technology. Simply switch these functions on to enjoy a relaxing massage that can help to rid you of aches and pains and make falling asleep much simpler.
You might benefit from changing your mattress too. Bear in mind that these products have an average life expectancy of around nine to ten years. As soon as they stop providing adequate support or become lumpy, it’s time to make a switch.
Also, ensure your room is a comfortable temperature throughout the night, and use lined curtains to prevent sunlight from streaming through your windows and waking you up at the crack of dawn. Meanwhile, if your partner snores or you suffer other disturbances during the night, use earplugs to block out noise.
Another top tip is to introduce relaxing fragrances into your bedroom. Lavender is a great example. It’s known for its calming effects and many people find it helps to lull them into peaceful slumber.
2) Give yourself time to wind down before bed
Even if you have a busy schedule, it’s worth allowing yourself some time before bed to unwind. Activities like reading, doing gentle yoga stretches and soaking in a warm bubble bath can all help you to relax and get you in the right mood to sleep.
3) Watch what you eat and drink
Caffeine acts as a stimulant, so it’s wise to steer clear of coffee and other caffeinated products in the evenings. Alcohol can also have a negative impact on your ability to rest. Although it might be easier to nod off after a few drinks, you’re more likely to sleep lightly and wake up during the night.
Don’t eat large meals right before bedtime either, as this can give you indigestion. If possible try to finish eating at least two to three hours before you call it a night.
4) See the light
Think about how light affects your ability to nod off too. Humans are adapted to sleep when it’s dark and to be alert during daylight hours. However, many of us don’t pay much attention to this natural cycle anymore, and this can play havoc with our body clocks. To help keep your circadian rhythm in check, it’s helpful to expose yourself to sunlight in the mornings and to avoid bright illuminations in the evenings. Bear in mind that the light produced by devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets can also disrupt the body clock, so try to avoid using such technology as you approach bedtime.
5) Get plenty of exercise
Getting plenty of exercise is a good way to improve your sleeping patterns too. Burning energy during the day will help you to release tension and it will mean you feel more tired when you hit the hay. However, avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as this will make drifting off more difficult.
6) Avoid the temptation to nap
Especially if you’ve not been sleeping well, you might feel a strong temptation to nap during the day. However, try to resist the urge. After all, while cat naps may make you feel better in the short term, they can make it more difficult to nod off at night.
7) Stick to a routine
It’s also useful to stick to a routine when it comes to sleeping. By going to bed and getting up at the same times day in and day out, you stand a better chance of controlling your body clock. For the best results, try not to break this routine when you’re off work.
8) Combat stress
Stress is a major cause of insomnia. Highlighting this fact, a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association found that more than two in five adults (43%) believed stress had caused them to lie awake at night within the preceding month.
Tackling stress may not be easy, but there are certain things you can do address the problem. For example, if you’re concerned about a heavy workload, try making a list of all the things you need to do the following day. This can stop your mind from racing when you’re trying to drift off.
9) Quit the cigs
If you smoke, now could be the time to stop. As well as all the other health benefits associated with quitting cigarettes, this could help you to sleep. Research shows that smokers tend to take longer to fall asleep than their nicotine-free counterparts, and they wake up more frequently throughout the night.
10) Take a break
On those nights when nothing seems to help you get to sleep, don’t just lie there getting more and more frustrated. The best thing to do is to get up, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired again.
Bear in mind that there’s no miracle cure for poor sleep, and it can take time to improve your nocturnal experiences. However, by following simple suggestions like these, you stand a better chance of nodding off at night.