Have you ever had trouble sleeping? Are you up late every night, struggling to settle into a comfortable position? Do you wake up each morning feeling like you haven’t slept a wink?
While you may have been in bed for five, six or seven hours, you may have only slept an hour or two. If this describes you, you are not alone.
Insomnia is a common issue that millions of people face. Sleep deprivation can affect your health, job performance, and even your relationships with the people you love. Your body and mind need enough rest to recharge your internal batteries.
If you lack the proper amount of rest, your body will become weaker and weaker. You’ll feel more lethargic and think less clearly. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to increase the quality and quantity of sleep you receive at night. A few small changes can make a difference between a life of vitality and one of lethargy.
Try these techniques to get a better night’s rest:
1. Make a schedule and stick to it. The most important strategy for beating insomnia is to maintain as consistent a schedule as possible. If you create a routine and go to bed at roughly the same time each night, your body will likely get used to shutting down for rest at that time.
- However, if you’re sleeping at a different time each night, your body isn’t prepared for sleep and acts accordingly. Estimate how much sleep you need, and determine what time you’ll go to bed each night.
- Also determine what time you’ll wake up each morning. Waking up at the same time each morning is just as important for establishing a rhythm for your body as going to sleep at the same time.
2. Stay away from caffeine. Do you find that you can’t function in the morning without a cup of coffee or two? Do you drink sodas with every meal? Cutting down on the caffeine you drink can have a dramatic effect on your quality of sleep. Caffeine messes with your body’s natural sleep cycle by spiking your blood sugar and then crashing it.
- The crash, however, normally doesn’t contribute to deep, restful sleep. Instead, it makes you feel lethargic and in need of more caffeine. As much as possible, stop the cycle and drink water instead. If your body is well hydrated, you’ll feel better throughout the day and likely sleep better at night.
3. Work out. Working up a sweat is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. It’s also an almost foolproof way to ensure you get a good night’s rest, as long as you avoid heavy exercising right before bed. As an added bonus, working out regularly will increase your energy and stamina throughout the day. Start small, keep it simple, and find something fun.
4. Relax before bedtime. Another important way to support your body’s effort at attaining the quality sleep you need is to give it a chance to wind down at the end of the day. If you fail to give your body and mind time to wind down, you take the stresses and challenges of your day to bed with you.
- Find something you enjoy that helps you to relax before bedtime. If it’s a favorite TV show, be sure to stay away from violence and dramatic themes that could cause your mind to be stressed while you’re trying to sleep. Try reading a book or listening to relaxing music instead.
Insomnia is a condition that can rob you of the life you were born to live. Instead, use these strategies to begin experiencing nights of deep, restful sleep and days that are filled with energy and vitality.