Proper and consistent sleep is one of the biggest keys to living a happy and healthy life. While most people are already aware of this, it doesn’t stop many from spending a good portion of their night tossing and turning, which keeps them from effectively falling asleep for long periods of time. The long term results of consistently poor sleep can be pretty detrimental to your mental state, energy level and overall health. So how does one keep from spending their nights tossing and turning about while staring at the ceiling and walls in hopes of finally falling asleep?
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that can help 100% of the time, but there plenty of steps you can take beforehand to prevent it from happening in the first place, along with a few things you can do during the night to combat your sleeplessness.
Avoid Drinking and Eating Before Bed (Especially Caffeine and Alcohol)
Some of this is obvious, and some of it not so much. You are probably already aware that drinking caffeine within six hours of bedtime is probably a bad idea, since it’s a stimulant. But what about alcohol? Sure, that nightcap before bed might make you a little drowsy initially, but it can come back to haunt you a few hours later, disrupting your sleep and causing you to be restless. Eating before bed can have similar effects, especially if you consume food that could lead to heartburn or increased gastrointestinal activity.
Avoid Strenuous Activity and Exercise
Working out just before bed or participating in any kind of work or activity that is physically demanding can increase your blood flow and adrenaline, which may cause you to stay awake longer. If you are unable to work out in the morning or mid-day, try to schedule your exercise time at least three hours ahead of your targeted bedtime.
Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Establishing a constant sleep schedule is crucial for giving your body a pattern to follow. If you are up at different hours each night and vary in your bedtime hours, your body will never truly know when you are ready to shut it down for the night, which can lead to plenty of restlessness.
Scents such as lavender and vanilla can provide a soothing atmosphere that keeps you calm and relaxed. You can even consider adding a few drops of essential oil under your pillow at night before you go to bed.
Soothing Sounds and Tranquil Settings
As strange as it sounds to some, media such as audio nature albums that feature sounds such as waves crashing and birds softly chirping in the distance can have a positive effect on keeping you relaxed at night. Setting one of these albums on a low volume at night has proven to be effective for countless individuals. These albums are readily available and come in numerous types.
Keep Things Dark
Even the slightest amount of light in the room can have an effect on your sleep cycle. Be sure to turn off your television, computer monitor, and anything else in the room that could be emitting unnecessary light. Staying off your phone and computer just before bedtime is a great (but sometimes difficult) idea as well.
This is much easier said than done. Stress can have an effect on your overall mood and health throughout the day, and a lot of this is due to sleep. Even if you can fall asleep consistently when stressed, there is a good chance that your sleep isn’t of the best quality. Try to spend time each night clearing your mind, and focus on things that make you feel calm and happy. Breathing exercises can offer a significant help in achieving this goal.
Provide Better Air Circulation
Insufficient air circulation in your room can lead to a wide variety of problems. Dusty and dirty rooms tend to be a haven for dust mites and micro-bacteria which can trigger your allergies and hinder proper breathing. Make sure to keep your room dust-free, while also ensuring that the air is moving. Ceiling fans and floor fans can not only keep the air moving, but also provide a soothing and low-key background noise for you as well.
Have You Considered a New Mattress?
Perhaps the biggest factor that affects sleep is the mattress itself. Old, worn, and uneven mattresses can be a big culprit in what’s keeping you tossing and turning at night. If your mattress has exceeded its lifespan, or has issues that are preventing you from sleeping soundly, it’s time for a new one. In this case, a visit to your local DC mattress store may be in order. Call or contact Tier4 Mattress online for more information on what models we have in stock!