Everyone has difficulty falling asleep every now and then, but if it's a persistent problem, you may have insomnia. When you struggle to fall or stay asleep, you experience daytime drowsiness, lack of concentration, and perhaps even headaches and mood changes. If you dread bedtime because you're worried you may not be able to fall asleep then it's time to make some changes. Don't be discouraged- a few simple things can make all the difference.
Try our sleep hacks to see a significant improvement in your sleep patterns. You deserve a good night's sleep and we're here to make your dreams come true. 🙂
1. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
If you partake in stimulating activities right before bed, you'll have a harder time getting shuteye. Avoid working, using your phone, or discussing stressful issues. Instead, try adopting these habits:
- Practice mindfulness or meditation
- Take a bath
- Read a book
These activities will help you ease from waking to sleeping. Try doing something relaxing about an hour before you plan to sleep to give your body and mind time to adjust.
2. Establish a Sleep-Inducing Atmosphere
Your bedroom should be dark, cool, and quiet to help you get a restful slumber. To keep light out, use blackout shades, heavy curtains, or wear an eye mask. Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature-somewhere between 60 and 72°F should be good. If outside noises keep you up and alert, try a white noise machine or wearing earplugs.
3. Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine
If you're obsessed with coffee, tea, or soda, you're not alone. However, avoid making another cup within four hours of bedtime. Consuming too much caffeine within a few hours of going to bed will significantly increase your chances of suffering from insomnia. Drink water instead. If you smoke or chew tobacco, avoid doing it too close to when you plan to sleep.
4. Adjust Your Diet
Did you know that there are certain foods and drinks that can help you sleep? Here are some things to add to your diet for a better night's sleep:
- Almonds: The magnesium helps promote muscle relaxation and sleep.
- Decaf tea: Chamomile tea and green tea have relaxing properties.
- Bananas: They contain potassium, magnesium, and tryptophan that help your body and mind calm down.
- Cherries: Eating some cherries or drinking cherry juice can boost your body's melatonin to help you fall asleep.
Try incorporating these into your pre-sleep snacktime. Make sure you avoid eating large amounts close to bedtime. Don't eat a fatty and greasy pizza at 11 p.m. because indigestion will keep you awake.
5. Exercise Earlier
Working out at the right time can help you fall asleep quickly and sleep more deeply. However, don't exercise right before bedtime because it will only make you more alert. Try to exercise at least a few hours before bed so your body has enough time to calm down.
6. Participate in Online-Based Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help insomniacs, but you don't have to go see an actual therapist anymore. You can receive treatment for your insomnia online from doctors, hospitals, universities, and businesses who sell sleep-related products. This program is called SHUTi, an acronym for Sleep Healthy Using the Internet. You can get the same results from a CBT therapist within the comfort of your own home. Treatment involves setting strict sleep schedules, practicing stimulus control, and reframing thoughts. If you're interested in this Internet-based treatment, look for a program designed and taught by a qualified CBT professional.
Some of these sleep hacks may be easier to practice in your daily life than others, but if you remain vigilant, you can improve your chances of achieving satisfying sleep. Experiment with these tools to combat your insomnia and find what helps you. For more help understanding your bedtime habits, read our post about what your sleeping position indicates about your personality.