Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep?
If so, you may notice some of the signs of sleep deprivation. This includes headaches, added stress, mental fog, lack of energy, and a general malaise that doesn’t go away.
These problems can impact every aspect of your life. You may not have the energy to play with your kids or the mental capacity to function properly at work.
Whether you toss and turn all night, have trouble falling asleep, or wake up constantly, this lack of sleep needs to be addressed.
This is an incredibly common issue. Nearly 40 million people in the US suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Another 20 million deal with occasional sleep issues.
Luckily, there are plenty of techniques for dealing with sleep problems. This includes everything from working out during the day to melatonin supplements.
The first tip for curing your sleep problem is to avoid eating before bedtime. Your body needs to digest the food that you eat. While this process is occurring, you may have trouble falling asleep.
Avoid eating 4 hours before bedtime. You should also avoid caffeine, alcohol, or any other stimulants. If you must have a snack before bed, it needs to be a light snack.
Cherries are a good option. Cherries contain melatonin, which you’ll soon discover can help you get better rest. Another suitable snack is a combination of carbs and protein. It should be a protein containing tryptophan, such as eggs, turkey, or dairy. The carbs could include crackers or bread.
The carbs help to improve your body’s ability to absorb the tryptophan contained in the protein source.
One of the most common reasons for a lack of quality sleep is a lack of consistency. When you go to bed at different times each night, your brain can’t determine when it is time for bed. You may find yourself staring at the ceiling for hours as you lay in bed.
If this is an issue for you, you should set a consistent bedtime. The average adult should receive between 7 and 8 hours of sleep. Some studies suggest that 9 hours may lead to a lack of energy during the day – the same effect of having 6 or fewer hours of sleep.
Determine what time you need to get up in the mornings. Your alarm should be set for 8 hours before the time that you need to rise. So, if you need to get up at 6 AM, you should set go to bed by 10 PM.
If you can remain consistent, your brain will get used to the sleep schedule, helping you fall asleep faster.
If you’re tossing and turning, you need a change of scenery. You should get up out of bed and do something else.
Typically, when you can’t sleep, your mind starts to wander. These thoughts can actually keep you from falling asleep. So, you need to rid your mind of these thoughts.
Go into your living room and read a chapter of a book or check your email. You should perform a leisurely activity that distracts your mind. Also, make sure that you do this outside of your bedroom.
Then, after about 10 to 15 minutes, return to your bedroom and try to get some shut eye.
Meditation can be incredibly relaxing. It also helps you learn to gain control over your thoughts. With regular practice, you may even be able to address the previous issue. When your mind starts to wander, you can direct it back to your breathing – just like mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is a simple technique that requires you to focus your attention on breathing. You will either close your eyes or stare at a specific point.
Begin breathing normally. Focus on each inhale and exhale. As thoughts enter your head, focus back on your breathing.
Perform this form of meditation for about 5 to 15 minutes and then lay down. Hopefully, the relaxing nature of the meditation will help you get to sleep.
Exercise can also have a beneficial impact on your sleep cycle. You shouldn’t do this too close to your sleep time, but you can work out in the evening.
For example, working out an hour before bedtime can leave your body feeling tired. You’ll be better prepared to fall asleep as soon as you lay down.
You don’t need to push yourself too hard. Any exercise should help.
You could do jumping jacks, perform a bodyweight training routine, go for a run, or take a swim. Sometimes, you need to exert your extra energy before you can fall asleep.
Another option is to start taking melatonin dietary supplements. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for controlling your sleep cycle.
You’ll find small amounts of this hormone in certain foods, including cherries. But, this may not be enough to maintain melatonin levels, which can then throw your entire sleep schedule out of whack. These levels also decrease with age.
If you’ve tried all the other solutions discussed and still can’t get a good night’s rest, you should purchase a melatonin supplement. Follow the directions on the package to increase the amount of melatonin in your system and correct your sleep problems.
These are just a few of the most effective solutions for combating insomnia and sleep disorders. You should start at the top and work your way through these recommendations.
You shouldn’t try more than a few of these techniques at a time. Make them a part of your daily routine and keep track of your sleep. Use a sleep journal to track your results.
After several weeks, if you don’t notice an improvement, you can try a few of the other techniques.
Finally, after trying everything, if you still struggle to get 7 or 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, you should visit a sleep doctor.