A good night’s sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Yet, many suffer to get that quality night’s sleep for one reason or another. To help you find the relief you need, we’ve rounded up some tips for coaxing your body into a good night’s sleep in order to keep you happy and healthy long-term.
1. Ditch the Caffeine
As scary as it can seem, ditching caffeine may help to get you to sleep better at night. While you don’t need to completely cut it out, limiting caffeinated food and drinks to earlier in the day can mean better sleep in the end.
Your body will have enough time to flush all of that caffeine through, allowing you to have your daily cup of coffee without staying up all night. If you’re set in a certain routine, and it feels impossible to give up your cozy night coffee or tea, try switching to a decaf alternative.
Chamomile or another herbal tea will provide that same warmth and comfort that your English breakfast does. And if you can’t help it, decaf is a worthy alternative to your typical caffeinated coffee.
2. Keep Your Days Busy
One reason you may be struggling to sleep is that you’re simply not tired. That can be for a number of reasons, but one to keep in mind is the fact that not doing much during the day can leave your body not understanding the need to rest.
Be sure that you’re getting enough stimulation mentally, emotionally, and physically during the day to ensure that your body understands the need for sleep at the end of the day.
Better yet, make sure you’re tired enough that your body craves sleep at the end of the day. That can mean getting enough exercise to tire out your body, or doing a puzzle or other hobby that helps to tire out all of the smaller parts of your body that need stimulation and subsequent rest.
3. Proper Light Exposure
The lights you surround yourself with during the day and night play a huge role in your ability to sleep properly. Our bodies naturally crave a schedule that requires sleep at night and activity during the day.
Flipping those roles or blending them only confuses your body into blurring those lines.
Take, for example, the all too common TV watching or phone scrolling in bed. Your body doesn’t see those blue lights and thinks that it’s time for bed. Instead, it signals that it is still time to be awake and active because it’s relying on your environment to regulate itself. Blue lights are one of the worst things to experience before bed.
And if you are working in a dimly lit room all day, you may struggle with staying awake and alert, confusing your body even further, resulting in poor sleep and function all around! If you are forced to sleep during the day or otherwise can’t help the light in your room, invest in a sleep mask or blackout curtains to help your body make better sense of the time.
There is no shame in using natural aids to help you sleep. Many over-the-counter options offer relief, both short and long-term, with no adverse effects on your body.
Some examples include L-Theanine, melatonin, or essential oil diffusers and sprays that promote rest and relaxation.
While you may not find easy relief from these options, they can certainly aid in your regulated sleep schedule and other behaviors to help you sleep well.
Before beginning any new routine or implementing a natural supplement, consult with your doctor to ensure that it is safe to do so. Some medications can work adversely with prescriptions you already take, so it’s important to check before using them. Especially in the case of a tool like cannabis. While it can be impactful, according to Veriheal, it can also counteract.
Our bodies crave rest and relaxation. If you’re struggling with this, it may be a sign of a larger problem. While it can be fixed with a more strict bedtime routine or additives that promote sleep, it may be worthwhile to speak with a professional on ways to help promote sleep in a healthy way for you.
There are cases when sleep problems can be indicative of a greater problem, like sleep apnea or anxiety. Be sure to keep an open mind and find solutions that work for your needs.