While you don’t need to completely avoid sleep aids if you cannot sleep without them, you shouldn’t necessarily rely on them. Here are some of the top things you should try to get a better night’s sleep without having to resort to using sleeping pills.
1. Exercise More
It’s always a good idea to get some exercise into your daily routine. This can make a big difference in your sleep at night. Going out for a daily brisk walk is not only going to help you lose weight, but it can also help you sleep better. That’s right, it can help you sleep better at night because it boosts the effects of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is your body’s natural sleep hormone. There was a study that was published in the journal “Sleep” that found that postmenopausal women who exercise for at least 3.5 hours per week had a much easier time going to sleep at night than women who didn’t. You do want to be careful of the timing of your workouts though. Exercising too close to your bedtime can be counterproductive. After all, exercise can be stimulating which can have the opposite effect on your sleep. You want to try to get your workouts in during the early morning. Not only will it keep it away from your bedtime, but it can help your body sync up with the natural day and night cycle.
2. Reserve Your Bed For Sleeping and Sex
Many people fall into the habit of using their beds for things they shouldn’t be. For instance, you could be using your bed for completing spreadsheets at night. Or perhaps you plop yourself into bed to watch some television. Try to avoid doing these things. You want your mind to associate the act of getting into bed with sleep and sex alone. DreamCloud’s success with customers is all about the quality of its products that helps with proper sleep.
3. Make It Comfortable
You don’t want to make your bedroom too stimulating. Making it too stimulating can be counterproductive to your sleep efforts. Also, you want to spend some effort making your bedroom as comfortable as possible. Investing in a good and comfortable mattress can pay off. You also want to keep the temperature comfortable so you can promote optimal sleep.
4. Start a Ritual
Try to start a ritual much like the one you had as a baby or child. You likely had your mother, father, or caretaker reading you a bedtime story or singing you a lullaby. This is something that can help greatly because it provides a signal to the body and mind that it’s time to shut off and go to sleep. As an adult, a ritual can have the same type of impact. Anything that can provide a signal to your body and mind can be used. A lot of people have been successful with using a relaxing nighttime shower or bath. Also, you can do something relaxing like read a book in bed.
5. Eat Something Light
You don’t want to try to lay in bed to sleep with an empty stomach. This is only going to make things more difficult. You want to try to eat a light snack before bed. Don’t eat anything too heavy. Eating something that is going to upset your stomach or cause you indigestion can have the counter effect you are looking for. Some good options include a little bit of cheese or yogurt. Both of these have casein protein which is slow digesting. Try not to eat anything with a lot of sugar as it can be stimulating.
6. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
It’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. You don’t want to consume anything that contains either. This includes chocolate. Alcohol may be a depressant, but it can negatively impact the quality of your sleep. It can cause your body to be unable to cycle through your sleep stages properly. Thus, it’s best to be avoided. Caffeine is a known stimulant. It’s to be avoided before bed. While you can drink your coffee in the morning, try to cut off your caffeine intake a minimum of 7 hours before you intend on going to sleep.
It’s best to try to minimize stress as much as possible. Stress is one of the things that will keep you up at night. Unfortunately, stress is unavoidable. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to de-stress. Stress is your body’s natural defense mechanism to handle certain situations that call for heightened awareness. Because of this, you want to try to put your body in a relaxed state. Good stress-reducing activities include exercising, meditating, and more.
8. Get A Checkup
There are plenty of different health conditions that could be causing you to be unable to fall asleep or to be unable to get quality sleep at night. It could be something like restless leg syndrome or even sleep apnea. These things will need to be diagnosed by a doctor. If you suffer from GERD or acid reflux, you could get medication that can help. Getting checked by a doctor can give you insight into what’s causing you poor quality sleep at night.