10 Things to do to help you sleep
Sleepless nights are so frustrating, especially, when you know you need to get up early the next morning to go to work. The human being can actually go for several days without sleep and the record, though we wouldn’t advise you to try to beat it, is 11 continuous days without sleep. For most of us, sleepless nights will just mean being tired and irritable the next day, but if it goes on for long – it can cause serious medical problems. If you regularly have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, there are things that you can do about it. Here are ten, scientifically proven, ways to help you get a better night’s sleep.
1. Cut down on the caffeine
The effects of caffeine last a surprisingly long time and for some people, the stimulant effect of a cup of coffee could even last for up to twenty four hours. The first thing you should do if you are having trouble sleeping is cut down on all caffeinated drinks, especially in the afternoons. If you want a hot drink in the evenings, try herbal tea, or a cup of hot milk.
2. Keep to a regular bedtime
Your body’s internal clock will work much more efficiently if you keep to a regular routine. Always aim to go to sleep at roughly the same time at night and get up at the same time every morning too. Stick to this routine at weekends too, because a Sunday morning lay in will only upset your body clock again.
3. Write down your worries and then forget about them
If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed worrying about what has to be done tomorrow, try setting aside half an hour before bed every night to assess the tasks that lie ahead of you and write down a plan. If you have already prepared your to-do list, you won’t be worrying so much about it during the night.
4. Spend time relaxing before you go to bed
Spend an hour before bedtime winding down and relaxing and that will help prepare your body for sleep. Turn down the lights turn off computers and tablets and read, or take a nice long hot bath. If you do this regularly, your body will get used to the routine and it will recognise that this is the signal to prepare for sleep.
5. Try not to take daytime naps
When you can’t sleep at night it can be oh so tempting to take a long nap during the day, but this is only going to make it harder to sleep at night and then you will be back to square one again. Try not to take naps during the day at all and, if you really need to, sleep for only half an hour or so and no longer.
6. Take more exercise during the day
Getting more exercise during the day could be what you need to get more sleep. You don’t need to do anything too drastic, just taking a stroll at lunchtime would help. Exercise helps to relieve some of the tension that can build up and it’s also a good way to reduce stress. Avoid doing any really strenuous exercise just before bedtime, though, because that will make you wide awake again and make it harder to get to sleep.
7. Create the right environment for sleep in your bedroom
Make your bedroom as quiet and as dark as you possibly can so that there are as few things to disturb you as possible. Make sure that your bedroom is not too hot as well, because you will sleep a lot better in a cool environment. The optimum temperature for a bedroom does vary from person to person, but the average is said to be about 65 degrees.
8. Don’t try to force yourself to sleep
If you try to make yourself sleep, it can be very frustrating and it will be completely counterproductive. If you haven’t fallen asleep after about half an hour, you would be better off getting up again and reading a book or listening to some music for a while, until you start to feel sleepy again.
9. Make your bed as comfortable as possible
If your mattress is too hard or too soft and you can’t get comfortable at night, you might have to consider investing in a new one. Beds do wear out with use and, after a while, they can get dips in the middle of them or you can start to feel the springs inside of them. It’s recommended that you change your mattress at least every eight years.
10 Avoid drinking alcohol in the evenings
A couple of glasses of wine may make you feel sleepy, but you are quite likely to wake up again in the night, once the effects have worn off. Alcohol will also dehydrate you, which could mean you wake you thirsty on the night too. If you are having trouble sleeping, drinking alcohol is not usually and effective solution to the problem.