Are sleepless nights stressing you out?
By the time dinner would roll around Jeff would be so stressed about the restless night ahead he’d have a couple of glasses of wine to unwind. The next day, when he felt tired and jetlagged, coffee was his go-to pick me up.
If this story sounds familiar to you, you might be dealing with insomnia. About 10-30% of Americans are living with chronic insomnia, and it affects every aspect of their lives.
The good news is there are things you can do to learn how to sleep better. Instead of turning to things like coffee or wine, there are many better alternatives, and we’ll review all of them in this article.
It’s time for you to reclaim your nights! Read on to learn the truth about how to improve sleep.
How to Treat Insomnia With a Sleep Schedule
One of the easiest ways to learn how to get more sleep is to start a sleep schedule. Start by picking your bedtime and wake up time, and then do everything you can to stick to them. Even if you’re laying in bed awake with your eyes closed, you’ll still be getting your body and mind used to going to bed at a certain time.
Create a Great Sleeping Environment
What’s your current sleeping environment like? Do you have a clean comfortable mattress and a pillow you look forward to seeing at the end of the day? Simple things like changing your sheets to a more comfortable fabric, or buying a new pillow, can do wonders for your sleep.
Finally, if you live in a noisy area consider soundproofing your room as well. If soundproofing your room sounds like too much work, then try playing nature sounds to drown out any noise pollution.
Sleep Promoting Foods
You should avoid eating too close to bedtime. However, there are foods you can incorporate into your dinner routine to help you catch some z’s. Here are a few sleep-promoting foods:
- White rice
- Fatty fish
In addition to the list above you can also find hair and sleep vitamins to take at dinner time.
Foods You Should Avoid
Another aspect of learning how to improve sleep is identifying foods you should avoid in the evening. Here are some of the foods that can keep you up at night:
- High sugar granola bars
- Spicy foods
- Dried fruit
Why’s dried fruit an enemy of sleep? While dried fruit during the day is perfectly okay, eating it before bedtime can cause cramps and gas.
Tips to Help You Destress
About 55% of Americans experience stress during the day. While a little bit of stress now and then isn’t a problem, chronic stress can wreak havoc on your sleeping schedule.
To help yourself destress before bedtime, start by performing a simple self-massage. Using your favorite lotion, start at your feet and work your way up your entire body.
Next, consider meditating for 5 minutes. You can find a free guided meditation online to follow or simply sit still with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
Journaling is also a great way to relieve pent up stress. As you journal, let your thoughts flow freely, and without judgment.
Finally, stay away from your phone before bedtime, and stop checking your email. You need to let your mind know it’s time to slow down, not problem-solve.
Whatever messages you have can wait until the morning. Your sleep and well-being are more important than anything else.
How to Sleep Better by Working Out
Moving on, let’s look at how to sleep better with the help of exercise. Here are a few of our favorite night time exercise tips:
- Don’t exercise 2 hours before bed
- Create a consistent exercise routine
- Try yoga
If you have a job where you sit all day, chances are there’s a lot of pent up energy in your body. Sticking to a regular exercise schedule can help you get rid of that energy so you can sleep through the night.
Use Essential Oils
If you’re not already using essential oils to help you sleep, you have to give them a try. Essential oils are a powerful way to communicate to your body that all’s well, which will help you drift off into sleep and stay there all night. Lavender is a great essential oil to start with since it’s been proven to help with restlessness, anxiety, and depression.
Drink a Hot Beverage
Timed right, a hot beverage can be the perfect addition to your nighttime routine. Here are some great options:
- Warm milk
- Chamomile tea
- Valerian tea
You’ll want to avoid drinking anything too close to bedtime since this can make you have to get up during the night to use the bathroom. However, as long as you finish your beverage an hour before you’re about to lay down you should be fine.
Stretch Yourself to Sleep
Having a quick stretch session before bed can do wonders for your sleep. Stretching helps you get out of your head, and into your body. It’s a way to practice mindfulness and body awareness at the same time.
One of our favorite sleepy time stretches is the bear hug. Here are the steps for the bear hug stretch:
- Stand up straight
- Inhale and open your arms wide
- Exhale and cross your arms to hug yourself
- Hold for 20-30 seconds
- Exhale and repeat
When you repeat the stretch, be sure to give each arm a chance to be on top.
Have a Sweet Sleep
Be patient with yourself as you practice what you learned today about how to sleep better. While you might not notice an improvement overnight, the changes you’re making will help over time. By sticking to a sleep schedule, and doing everything you can to reduce stress levels, you’ll learn to sleep like a pro in no time.
So go ahead and pick your bedtime and wake up time and start implementing your sleep schedule today. For more ways to feel your best, read another one of our articles.