Losing sleep can happen for a variety of reasons, from stress to excitement. However, seeing as how sleep is a vital part of your wellbeing, not getting enough sleep can interfere with the quality of your life. Before you start suspecting sleeping disorders like narcolepsy and insomnia, try fixing your sleeping problems with these suggestions.
Change your pillow
If you’re having issues with sleep, one approach you can try is changing your pillow. Nowadays, there are various kinds of pillows that are made to suit different types of sleeping positions. For example, sleeping on your side requires a thicker pillow than when sleeping on your back or stomach because it has to support your head and neck properly in order for your spine to stay straight. With that in mind, if your pillow is thin, you can opt for a thicker one or an anatomic one, and vice versa.
Get a mattress topper
A bit of a bigger investment is getting a mattress topper. In case your mattress is still in pretty good shape, there is no need to have it completely replaced. Maybe its firmness simply doesn’t suit you. By getting a mattress topper, you’ll be able to adjust your bed to your needs without spending too much money.
Invest in a new mattress
On the other hand, if your mattress is over eight years old, it’s probably time to get a new one. This is what could be causing your sleeping problems, so consider making this move. While it can be a big investment, your body will be more than thankful. Just remember to try out a few models and see if you can return it after a trial run if it doesn’t suit you.
Adjust your sleeping environment
Perhaps your bed is okay but it’s the sleeping environment that’s giving you trouble. Luckily, there are various adjustments you can make to your bedroom. For starters, you might be bothered by the light coming from the street. In that case, you can get some blackout blinds that will not let any light from outside enter your bedroom. Then, your room might be too warm. While the optimal temperature for sleep can vary from person to person, experts agree that keeping your thermostat at approximately 18.3 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Lastly, you can also use essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot to promote sleep.
Limit your bed activities
Apart from your environment, it could also be your habits that are affecting your sleep. For example, if you use your bed for a variety of other activities, it can be difficult to fall asleep. Studying, paying the bills, and watching TV in bed can all increase alertness and make it hard for your brain to switch to sleep mode.
Don’t nap for too long
Some people simply need to nap during the day in order to be able to function properly. However, if you nap for too long or too close to bedtime, it can affect the quality of your nighttime sleep. With that in mind, keep your naps up to 20 minutes long if you really need them.
Steer clear of alcohol and caffeine before bed
Other habits that can impact your sleep include drinking alcohol or coffee before bed. For instance, while alcohol can oftentimes have a sedative effect, it can actually affect the later stages of sleep and result in a non-restful night. Furthermore, coffee and everything else that contains caffeine can affect your sleep. As the effects of caffeine can last for a few hours, it’s best to avoid it before sleep. Additionally, other kinds of stimulants like nicotine and decongestants found in meds can also have an effect on your sleep.
Watch what you eat and drink
Food can also keep you up all night long. For instance, if you have a late dinner, eat something that’s difficult to digest, or snack before bed, your digestive system might have a hard time processing it. Moreover, plenty of fluids can overwhelm your bladder and force you to get up frequently to go to the bathroom. Instead, opt for some foods that can help you sleep such as kiwi, almonds, and chamomile tea.
Consider meds and supplements
In addition to certain foods that could improve your sleep, you can also try some meds and supplements before bed. For example, melatonin is an over-the-counter solution that many people use as a sleep aid. Then, there is valerian root that has been used for centuries to improve sleep and promote tranquility. What is more, there are also supplements like ashwagandha for sleep that can improve brain function and increase muscle strength too. In case you have any allergies, it’s best to consult with your doctor first.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time
One habit you should do your best to adopt is going to bed at the same time every evening and getting up at the same time every morning. That way, your body will be trained and over time, you’ll start feeling sleepy at the right time and you’ll easily wake up without an alarm clock. While it can be tempting to sleep in on the weekends, do your best to not sleep until noon.
Work out on a regular basis
Staying active can also help you sleep better. However, while it’s important to exercise on a regular basis, it’s also essential that you don’t work out right before bedtime. As this can have a stimulant effect on your body, you want to wrap up your physical activities at least three hours before bedtime.
It is also possible that stress is keeping you up. If you’re worried about certain things, there are ways that can help you relax before bed. For instance, meditation, deep breathing techniques, and progressive muscle relaxation can all calm down your body and mind. Maybe you can start a journal where you will leave all your thoughts and come up with a to-do list for the following day before turning in for the night.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, hopefully, some of these solutions will help you. If nothing seems to work, don’t hesitate to contact your physician.