Few things feel better than a good night’s sleep, right? Unfortunately, for many people, enjoying a full night’s rest is becoming more and more difficult to accomplish.
Under normal circumstances, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 adults suffer with sleep disorders of one kind or another. With the increased stress and concerns most everyone is facing today, sleep challenges seem to be part of many American’s new reality.
The good news is, there are some things you can do to improve your sleep success.
- Unplug Earlier
Start prepping for sleep an hour or two before bedtime. Turn off the TV, dim the lights, get off you phone and stay away from social media. Lower light levels trigger the production of melatonin and less stimulation gives your brain a chance to power down slowly.
- Free Your Mind
Equally important, don’t jump into any work, touchy discussions or emotional topics in the hour or so before turning in for the night. If you do have a lot on your mind, take a few minutes to list them out. Sometimes writing them down allows your brain to let them go for the evening.
- Quiet, Dark and Cool
That’s the perfect bedroom for sleeping according to sleep specialists. Turn off all lights, TVs and music. Keep a fan on or your AC turned down. Avoid blue screens (reading tablets, phones, etc., they can lower your melatonin levels). Consider meditation exercises or spending a few minutes reading a book to help yourself unwind.
- Bathroom Breaks
Once asleep, you want to keep it that way. Getting up to go the restroom can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it hard to fall back asleep. Do your best to cut out liquids an hour or two before bedtime. Put a nightlight in your bathroom so you can avoid turning on bright lights. Consider turning your alarm clock away from you so it won’t shine in your face. You want to minimize anything that begins to stimulate your senses.
- Overactive Minds
Once awake, it’s easy to find yourself thinking about pending tasks, fears for the future and other nagging thoughts. Mental distraction is one trick that can help, some try to still their mind by focusing on a specific image or by reciting the alphabet. Others take the opposite approach by getting out of bed and writing down those things worrying them, allowing their mind to relax.
A good night’s sleep plays an important role in both your physical and mental fitness. Investing a little time and effort to improve your sleep outcomes can pay big health dividends. Stay well.