There are a lot of things that can cause difficulty sleeping and just as many solutions to help you get a better night’s sleep. Quality sleep is one of the most important variables in brain function and overall performance in our daily lives. Here are a couple of simple things you can do to help you sleep better.
Turn down the lights.
For at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, avoid bright lights. It is pretty common these days for people to spend time before bed staring at their computer or maybe checking Facebook on their tablet or cellphone in bed. Research has shown that even five minutes of white light from a screen can shut down your body’s melatonin production for up to four hours, which can completely destroy your quality of sleep.
If you absolutely cannot break yourself from the habit of staring at cat pictures on your phone before bed, at least dim the screen to the lowest setting possible.
If you find that you have to do work shortly before bed, try dimming the office lights.
Do not exercise less than 2 hours before bed.
Many people think that exercising at night can tire you out and make sleep easier. However, exercising shortly before bed can actually hamper your chances of falling sleep. Your brain becomes very active after a workout. Your body temperature also goes up. These can make it very difficult to fall asleep.
Try to finish your workout at least 2 hours before your bedtime.
Many of us love a good cup of coffee, however coffee or tea later in the day, sometimes even shortly before lunch, can affect our sleep. If you drink a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon, or drink soda throughout the day, and you find it difficult to fall asleep, start cutting back on your caffeine and watch the impact.
Another culprit is chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which can keep you awake. If you cannot break the sweet tooth, white chocolate does not contain theobromine and little if any caffeine.
Try supplements that can help you sleep.
There are a large number of supplements that can help you to fall asleep as well as help make sure you get a restful sleep. You can check out our list of the most effective supplements for sleep.
Make a list of your problems and possible solutions.
If anxiety over a problem or set of problems is keeping you awake, write those problems down and ways that you might solve them. In a study published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine, scientists split subjects into two groups. Both groups were instructed to write down three problems that they had. One of the groups were instructed to also write down possible solutions. Those who wrote down possible solutions were more relaxed when they went to bed.
If you wake in the middle of the night and do not fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up.
Find something to do to distract yourself, but still avoid bright screens. If you stay awake in bed for long stretches of time, you start to train your brain that your bedroom area is not for sleeping. Move into another room and do something like some light reading to get your mind off of your worry about not sleeping. When you are ready, go back to bed.
Follow these simple life hacks for an easier time falling asleep and for better quality sleep.