Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you wake up several times throughout the night? Good sleep is very important for your health and well-being. If you aren’t sleeping well, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. This is a condition that seriously affects your health and quality of life.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure you sleep better that don’t necessarily require prescription drugs. For example, you daily activities can impact your sleep as much as your nighttime routine. A few lifestyle changes may be all that’s needed to help you fall and stay asleep every night.
Try these tips and mindfulness exercises to improve your sleep.
- Lights Out
People sleep better in darkened room.
- Turn off all your lamps and overhead lights.
- Turn off or cover all blue light sources. Blue light from phones, tablets, computers televisions and digital clocks can interrupt sleep.
- Hang blackout curtains in your bedroom
- Reprogram Your Internal Clock
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will regulate your internal clock and help you sleep through the night.
- Set the Mood
Lower the lights in your home two to three hours before you go to bed. low lighting tells your brain to start making melatonin to put you to sleep.
- No Napping
Midday naps interfere with restful sleep. Take a walk and drink some cold water if that afternoon sleepiness sets it. If you absolutely need to nap then do it early in the day.
- Ditch the Night Sweats
Excessive sweating is a condition called hyperhidrosis. Overheating and night sweats can interrupt a good night’s rest. These tips may help regulate your body temperature at night and give you a better sleep:
- Keep it cool. The ideal room temperature for sleep is 60 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wear lightweight clothing, or nothing at all.
- Use lightweight linens and duvet covers.
- Choose the right mattress and pillows. Foam, memory foam, latex, latex hybrid and soft mattresses trap heat. They are the worst for warm sleepers. A firm, innerspring mattress with a poor contour rating will help you stay cool while you sleep.
- Turn on a fan to keep the air moving and your skin cool. This also adds a little white noise to your room, something, which can also help keep you sleeping throughout the night.
- See a doctor. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a condition, which manifests as excessive sweating with no medical reason. Effective treatments include antiperspirants, Iontophoresis, certain medications, and in extreme cases surgery. Hyperhidrosis can also be a sign of illness or a symptom of an underlying disease.
- Seal Up Your Mattress
Over time mattresses become filled with dust, dust mites, mold and other allergens. These irritants can set off nighttime allergy attacks. Use a plastic mattress cover to stop the nighttime sneezing, wheezing and coughing.
- Reserve Your Bed for R&R
Your bed is for rest, relaxation and intimacy. Don’t sit in it to eat, work, watch TV or surf the Internet. The fewer distractions there are in the bedroom the easier you will fall asleep.
- Pillow Fights
Stop fighting with pillows that are too flat or too fat. A pillow that is just right will support the natural contour of your neck when you are on your back. The right pillow will improve sleep and you’ll wake up without a sore neck.
- The Right Noise
Traffic sounds, barking dogs, a leaky faucet and noisy neighbors can wake you up and keep you awake. Use a fan, a white noise machine or app to drown out the sounds that interrupt your sleep.
- Nix the Nightcaps
Alcohol disrupts a restful night of sleep. It may make you feel sleepy at first but as it wears off it can have the opposite effect. Cut yourself off two to three hours before bedtime. Or, even better, don’t drink at all.
- Breathe Deep and Relax
Slow paced exercises like yoga, Tai Chi and deep breathing can help you relax and fall asleep. The slow, deliberate movements help clear your mind and set you up for a good sleep. Vigorous exercise before bed can give you an energy burst that might keep you awake for hours. Finish strenuous workouts at least three hours before bedtime. Regular exercise promotes healthy sleep, but be sure to time it wisely for maximum benefit.
- Eat Light at Night
Filling up your stomach with a large meal right before bedtime will disturb your sleep. This is especially true for those who suffer from indigestion and acid reflux. Keep bedtime snacks light and eat only if you need to.
What you do during the day affects how well you sleep at night. Your body needs sleep to rest and regenerate. Making a few small changes in how you go about your days will improve your quality of sleep. Illness, chronic pain, medications and hormonal imbalances can also affect your sleep. See your doctor if you suspect a health condition or certain medications may be interfering with your sleep.