In this busy world it’s often hard to switch off and go to sleep at night. If you have young children or a lot of life pressures, it’s especially difficult to allow yourself to relax. Here are some tips that will help you get a good night’s sleep and tackle each new day with energy.
Make sure you turn off all your electronic devices at least an hour before you go to bed. These electronic devices give off blue light, which is good for you during the day as it keeps you awake. However, at night blue light disrupts your sleep by suppressing the secretion of melatonin, which disturbs your circadian rhythms. Relax with a good book instead, or try a peaceful lavender-scented candlelit bath. The warmth and tranquillity will help you feel drowsy, as will a hot milky drink before you go to bed. If you really need to use your laptop before you go to bed, try out computer program f.lux, which adapts the colour of your computer’s display to the time of day.
Are your surroundings peaceful? Turn your bedroom into a serene den where it’s easy for you to get to sleep. Invest in new bedding – a good pillow can help you sleep not only longer, but better. Orthopedic surgeon Andrew Hecht says the wrong pillow can worse physical symptoms like neck pain, sneezing and arm numbness. Noise and light from outside can also disrupt your sleep – try black-out blinds if a streetlight shines into your room or if you find yourself waking up around sunrise. If noise from outside bothers you like garbage trucks in the early morning or late night parties from neighbors, quiet curtains may help to solve the problem. Make sure that your bedroom is neat and tidy when you go to bed. Being able to see cluttered surfaces and items on the floor will help keep you awake.
Have you ever tried techniques to help you get to sleep? Relaxation training teaches people to tense and relax different muscles in their bodies, which helps to calm them down and guide them towards sleep. Other relaxation techniques include mindfulness, in which people focus their minds on the present moment in an attempt to stop worrying about the future, breathing exercises and meditation. Gentle exercises during the day such as pilates can help, along with doing a cooling down yoga routine before bed. Another technique is stimulus control, which helps the mind build an association between the bedroom and sleep by limiting other activities that are done there. This might be carried out by only going to bed when you’re sleepy, and getting up if you’ve been awake for over twenty minutes. Other techniques to get to sleep include essential oils such as lavender, vetiver and bergamot. Sprinkle them on your pillow and let them whisk you off to dreamland.
If none of these tips help and you are suffering from tiredness during the day, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor as you may be suffering from insomnia. Good luck!