Are you struggling to sleep at night but don’t know what to do? As well as feeling tired, struggling to concentrate and generally being in a worse mood, a lack of sleep can have a lot of negative health effects. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting around eight hours of sleep a night. Before you diagnose yourself with a sleep disorder if you’re struggling to drift off on a night, try out the following proven tips for helping you snooze.
Cut Down on Caffeine
There are various benefits of caffeine, helping to improve focus and energy throughout the day. However, some people can get into a bad habit of relying on caffeine to counteract their lack of sleep with the energy boost it provides. As coffee is a stimulant it can stop your body from naturally relaxing at night and stay in your blood for six to eight hours. So it’s advisable not to drink any coffee, energy drinks or caffeine products up to six hours before bed.
Exercising will tire your body out and has even been found to be more beneficial than drugs for people with insomnia, reducing the time to fall asleep by 55%. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you take part in, though the more vigorous the more tired out you will likely be. What is important is when you do it, as too close to bedtime can cause sleep problems as it may increase alertness, though it may be down to the individual.
Much like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant. Therefore, if you’ve been having a cigarette, cigar or puff on a pipe before bed, it could be this that’s keeping you awake. Nicotine raises your heart rate and alertness, plus is fast-acting and addictive, so it will start to leave your body in a few hours probably when you are asleep. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms can be disruptive but using an e-cigarette could help wean you off nicotine and smoking altogether. Various e liquids can help you make the transition.
Create a Comfortable Bedroom
The quality of your bed has a big impact on how you sleep, so you may need a fresh one or just a new mattress and set of pillows. This is why you always seem to sleep better or worse in hotels, as it will depend on their quality. Setting the temperature of your room at around 20 degrees Celsius or whatever’s comfortable for you is helpful too. And if there’s a lot of noise then sound-proofing any way you can improve the environment.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Sometimes you just need to be in the right frame of mind to fall asleep. Yoga and meditation can offer a solution (though don’t be doing anything too strenuous close to bedtime). While taking a hot bath or shower about 90 minutes before is a proven technique to help some drift off. Even just resting your feet in a bowl of warm water can help.
Give these tips a go to help you drift off and experience a much better quality of sleep, but if you’re still struggling then it might be best to see a doctor or sleep expert.