Insomnia is no fun, trust us, we have all experienced it at some point in our lives. Most of you can relate to fighting a growing sense of panic as you lie in bed, eyes tightly closed in the hope that sleep will come, listening to the steady tick-tocking of the clock until the alarm finally rings and a new day dawns.
There are countless reasons why sleep eludes us, from stress, too much screen time to not being able to just disconnect. But whatever the reason, we hope that these tips, from the experts will help you get a good night’s rest.
Change Your Bed Linen Weekly
This may seem like common sense, but most people do not launder their sheets often enough. Be sure to make your bed every moring and launder your sheets at least once a week. According to the National Sleep Foundation, seven out of ten people get a better night’s sleep when their sheets feel and smell fresh and clean. By making your bed daily, you’ll feel less inclined to get back into it and it’s also nice to come back home after a long day of work and not have to make your bed when all you want to do is collapse.
Take Your Supplements in the A.M
Certain types of supplements like, like B12, can cause vivid dreams, which can wake you up. Other pills best popped in the morning include painkillers, which may contain caffeine, and some contraceptives, which may alter sleep patterns.
No Caffeine After 2 P.M
Steer clear of caffeine and snacks containing coffee, tea, or dark chocolate after 2 p.m. For a late-day boost, go for a 10-minute walk or reach for a high-protein snack like yoghurt. Trust the experts, coffee after 2 p.m will mess up your sleep cycle.
Skip The Nap
Resist the urge to lie in bed in the morning after the alarm goes off. According to Jason Ong, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Rush University in Chicago, the longer you go without sleep, the better your chances of falling asleep, so skip that afternoon nap.
No Gadgets In Bed
Bedside gadgets make it more difficult to let go of the day and drift into sleep. Any temptation to keep your brain stimulated is just going to make your brain think it should be awake. Make the bedroom a sacred place. Everything from TV-watching to bill-paying is off-limits, except sleep and sex.
Learn To Let Go
If you are too wired to sleep, make a list of whatever is stressing you out, then put it away. One of the best and easiest way to rid your mind of extra thoughts is to meditate. If meditation and list writing is not your cup of tea, try downloading an app like Calm.
Dim The Lights 30-mins Before Bedtime
Bright lights can block the production of melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy) and make you more alert. Once you’re ready for bed, keep the room completely dark. If you can’t switch off your phone, find an app or a program that reduces blue light exposure and keeps your eyes from becoming strained, like Night Shift in Apple products or f.lux for Android.
Skip The Drugs
While tempting, it is best to avoid relying on sleep medication. Most contain diphenhydramine, an allergy medication that will make you drowsy but won’t promote the deep sleep your body and mind requires. Instead, it can leaves you feeling groggy and disoriented the next day.
Yoga For Slumber
Yoga can calm an over-aroused nervous system. When Harvard Medical School researchers prescribed a half hour of the Kundalini variety to insomniacs before bed for eight weeks, the subjects went from sleeping 6.25 hours to 7.3 hours.
Maintaining a cool temperature in your bedroom helps your body prepare for sleep. Inspired by science that has found that cool temperatures promote sleep, two University of South Carolina women’s basketball coaches invented Sheex, bedsheets that promise to transfer heat more efficiently and breathe better than cotton. Another great sheeting option would be bamboo sheets that are naturally silky, anti-bacterial and cool to the touch.
Diffuse Sleep Promoting Essential Oils
Aromatherapy scents like lavender and chamomile can relax your body and mind and make it easier for your to drift into slumber. Using a timed diffuser, let the oils work their magic for about 30-minutes before you get into bed. You can also add a few drops of a good quality blended sleep oil or lavender oil onto your pillow and the soles of your feet. You can also spray your pillow with this Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works, which uses a clinically-tested blend of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile to calm both mind and body, helping you to get to sleep quicker and wake up more rested.