These sleep tips are important. If you are not following any one of them this will cause insomnia. so if you have trouble sleeping the answer could be right here.
Ever heard of ’sleep hygiene?’ It is a strange term isn’t it? Doesn’t mean you need to shower and change your PJs every night though. All it means is keeping to a healthy lifestyle and habits in order to be able to sleep well every night. You most likely have come across many of these sleep tips or sleep hygiene rules before. They are boring but important. So if you can’t sleep check them out and see if they help you to overcome insomnia.
Getting exercise every day has its benefits. That’s not debatable. However, strenuous exercise done in the early evening or later can affect your ability to fall asleep because it raises your body temperature and it won’t begin to fall for several hours. It’s much easier to fall asleep when body temperature is lower.
Exercising in the morning is ideal, as this allows ample time for your body temperature to cool before bedtime. ( Unless you work the night shift of course, in which case reverse this) Whatever you do however, do not stop exercising as it is known that daily exercise improves sleep.
Caffeine Most people won’t drink caffeinated coffee at night because they realize that caffeine can keep them awake. But coffee is not the only beverage containing caffeine. Soda, tea and some energy drinks also contain caffeine and should be avoided in the afternoon and evening. Decaffeinated tea and colas are now readily available and taste just as good.
Chocolate also contains caffeine and although desserts containing chocolate are OK in moderation, a whole bar of chocolate is not a good idea. Everyone reacts differently to caffeine and usually younger adults can get away with it but as we get older many of us start to notice that caffeine disturbs our sleep. If you think caffeine might be impacting your sleep, eliminate all caffeine in the afternoon and evening for a few days and see if it helps.
One misconception about alcohol is that it helps you sleep. Alcohol can bring sleep on faster, but it may cause you to wake more often. As with caffeine, stop consuming alcoholic beverages at night for a few days and see if you feel more refreshed in the morning.
Drinking a lot of fluids, caffeine, alcoholic or otherwise, will cause you to wake frequently too because you’ll have to urinate more.
Like caffeine nicotine is a stimulant and can stop you falling asleep. For heavy smokers nicotine withdrawals can kick in during your sleep time and wake you up. So if you still smoke that dangerous weeed it is time to kick the habit now. But you know all about that without hearing it again don’t you? Did you know that 1 in 6 smokers die from it?
Food and Drink
Some foods, especially those that can cause heartburn, can negatively affect your sleep. Tomato-based foods/beverages and spicy foods are the biggest instigators of heartburn. Heartburn, which intensifies when you lie down, causes much discomfort during sleep and that discomfort can cause you to wake often during sleep.
You may love to nap, but napping can mean you don’t feel tired enough to sleep well at night.Nap only briefly, no longer than 30 minutes or eliminate napping entirely and see if doing so enhances your sleep time.
There is more to having a bath than the comfort it gives. There is also a physiological reason why a hot bath is good for inducing sleep. The bath raises your body temperature by heating the periphery. As the periphery cools your core body temperature drops slightly and this is what is needed for sleep initiation.
Write Your Problems Down
You can’t easily fall asleep if you have problems on your mind. To stop them going round in your head write them down in a notebook. Write them as a ’To Do’ list. Then close the notebook and tell yourself you will go back to these issues tomorrow. After all there is nothing more you can do about them today.
Don’t Try To Sleep If You Aren’t Sleepy
Don’t settle down to sleep if you don’t feel sleepy. Wait until you feel sleepy and then go straight to bed, turn out the light and sleep.
Sleeping Pills Are Not The Answer
Although sleeping pills can be useful in certain circumstances don’t take them on a regular basis, they are not the answer to to a good night’s sleep. Sleeping pills are strong drugs that disrupt the natural cycles of sleep which are an important part of the sleep process. You may think you slept well when you used sleeping pills but you didn’t because it wasn’t real sleep. After a while they make you feel quite groggy and lethargic which goes to show they are not the answer.
Here is the action plan from my ebook ’Go To Sleep Secrets’ which comes with the Sleep Sound Program.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or sugar in the hours before bedtime. Colas contain caffeine and so does chocolate.
- Take at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. The type of exercise that makes you breath faster. But don’t exercise too close to bedtime.
- In the late evening try to do things that a calming rather than things that are exciting or challenging.
- Check out your bedroom for contributing factors such as too much light, noise, bed and bedding etc.
- Minimize the presence of light in the late evening by for example, not reading in bed, not using a computer, dimming the lights etc
- Go back to the circadian information in the book and consider whether your sleeping problem is caused by a delayed or advanced sleep phase. If it is either you will need to gradually reset your body clock as described.
- If you have no trouble getting to sleep at night but wake too early in the morning make sure your bedroom curtains keep the morning light out, or wear a sleep mask. Using the “Stay Asleep” audio from the Sleep Sound program will help.
- Learn how muscles feel when they are relaxed by practicing progressive muscle relaxation.
- Practice other relaxation techniques of your choice in bed and if necessary during the day. Use the relaxation audio, that comes with the Sleep Sound Program, every day
- If you have worries that keep you awake at night use the “Write It Down” method to draw a line under your anxieties for the day. Remind yourself that worrying at night does not make your anxieties go away, it just makes them harder to deal with the following day because you will be tired.
- Decide whether you want to try a herbal supplement. Of herbal supplements I have found Valerian to be the most effective. Another supplement that can help is 5-HTP.
- Once you have established the bedtime routine that works best for you keep to it as often as possible. Your goal is to establish a regular sleep schedule. Get up each morning at the same time and try not to oversleep on non-workdays.
- Write down your plan of action, including your bedtimes and rising times. Stick to your routine and if, after a week or two, you are still experiencing difficulty sleeping make some adjustments. The key is to be consistent and determined.
When you have a bad night simply do your best during the day and try to get back to your sleep schedule that night. Don’t become discouraged if things don’t work immediately.
Once you are sleeping better allow yourself 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. You can always tell whether you need more sleep by the simple measure of noticing how sleepy you feel during the day.
Meditation can help you to feel less tired if you have not had enough sleep. The relaxation audio that comes with the Sleep Sound Program is an easy way to get the benefits of meditation every day.
This is all explained in detail in the ebook Go To Sleep Secrets which comes free with The Sleep Sound Audio Program