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Trouble sleeping? 8 Tips that help you sleep better

by | Health & Wellness

Apr 18, 2020

Here, you’ll find evidence-based tips that help you sleep better at night if you’re having trouble sleeping. A good night’s sleep can not be underestimated. 

It is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet. A lack of enough sleep could reduce physical performance and brain function, cause weight gain, and increase disease risk in both adults and children.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout our life. While you’re asleep, your body is working to aid healthy brain function

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

If you have insomnia or have difficulty sleeping, you can take steps to help you sleep better. Here are 8 Evidence-Based Tips That Will Help You Sleep Better 

1. Have a sleep routine

A good sleep routine will help train your body to wake at a consistent time if you’re having trouble sleeping. For example, you might set a consistent bedtime and wake time. 

It is also important to avoid naps and not linger in bed if you can’t sleep. Stick to a sleep schedule, including on weekends.

2. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before bed

Their effects can last for several hours, so the chances of affecting sleep are significant. As a general rule of thumb, it takes one hour for one serving of alcohol to be metabolized

Therefore, if you have a couple of drinks, you may have to wait for at least several hours before bedtime to avoid impacting your sleep.

3. Have good SunLight Exposure during the day

Daily sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep quality and duration, especially severe sleep issues or insomnia. 

Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm (natural time-keeping clock) healthy.

4. Avoid meals and beverages before bed

Eating a late dinner or snacking before going to bed can activate the digestive system and keep you up. Drink less liquid before bedtime so you won’t have to urinate as often. 

It is best to eat your last big meal of the day at least 2 to 3 hours before bed. And, if you are awake ’till late in the night and 4 to 5 hours have passed after you ate your last big meal, then you can have a little snack before bedtime.

5. Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep.

Another important thing to do if you have trouble sleeping is to make sure your bedroom is quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable. 

Minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks which could be disruptive. 

Ensure your bed, mattress, and pillow are comfortable for you. It is where you relax after a long day at work. 

Making your bedroom comfortable for sleep has a lot of benefits for your health. So it is essential to have a well-comfortable bedroom for your comfort and healthy sleeping. 

Being a busy person, all you need is a bedroom that will help you relax and reduce the day’s stress.

6. Switch off Your Mind

Have a pre-sleep routine that helps you relax, like setting aside time to review the day and make plans for the next day. The aim is to help you relax and not worry too much as you try to sleep. 

You might try listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, and some yoga relaxing techniques. It will help you sleep better if you are having trouble sleeping.

6. Exercise regularly

Exercise is one of the best science-backed ways to improve your sleep and health. Little wonder you have a good sleep when you have good sex. 

Try to finish exercising at least three hours before you plan to sleep for the night. Exercise can contribute to more sound and restful sleep. 

Physical activity increases the time spent in a deep sleep. Furthermore, deep sleep helps to boost immune function and control stress and anxiety.

7. Sleep When You’re Truly Tired

Don’t fight off sleep when it comes calling. Otherwise, you may get used to it. On the other hand, if you’re trying to fall asleep but you’re not getting it, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you fall asleep again.

8. Prescription medications

If you have trouble sleeping, doctors sometimes prescribe drugs to aid you. Therefore, book an appointment with one.

Some supplements, including Melatonin supplements, lavender, and magnesium, can help with relaxation and sleep quality when combined with other strategies.

Occasionally, doctors will prescribe medications for the treatment of insomnia. Ensure you take all insomnia or sleeplessness medications briefly before bed as prescribed. 

Do not undertake or perform activities that require attentiveness after taking an insomnia medication. 

Doing that will make you feel sleepy and increase the likelihood of accidents. Medications should be used in combination with the aforementioned good sleep practices.

Wrapping Up

There are so many factors that can lead to your sleeping trouble. Your lifestyle, sleeping habits, and health status may all contribute to your sleeping problems. Age is also a major factor in the amount of sleep you need and the quality of sleep you tend to get.

Adults

Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night. However, many adults have problems falling asleep or staying asleep all through the night. As a matter of fact, About 50% of older adults report sleeping difficulties. 

Children

The amount of sleep children need depends on their age. In 2015, the CDC conducted a survey of sleep duration in children and teenagers. They found that 57.8% of middle school students and 72.7% of high school students did not meet the CDC’s sleep recommendations on school nights.

Pregnant women

Some women may sometimes experience difficulties sleeping or develop sleep disorders during pregnancy. According to the sleep foundation, around 30% of pregnant women say they seldom or never get a good night’s sleep. 50% say they have insomnia-like symptoms.

Changes in sleeping patterns during pregnancy may transpire due to hormonal changes. Sleeping trouble tends to peak around the second and third trimesters.

By Aleksandra Nico

Dr. Aleksandra Nico is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is in private practice in Brunswick and has experience in a wide variety of areas, including mood-related difficulties, anxiety, psychosis, trauma, addictions, personality disorders, and anger management. Dr. Nico completed a Ph.D. at the University of Nevada. Her goal is not to make very good people out of good, but to get the unique out of them.

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