Good sleep can be hard to find, but it’s so important to physical and mental health. Here are some techniques that can help you fall asleep quickly — and then stay that way for the rest of the night.
Being physically active is a huge part of staying healthy, but not just for your body. Exercise helps to relieve stress and promote endorphins that relax the brain and make the body feel more comfortable, leading to better sleep when the time comes. Not only that – your body temperature rises when you exercise, and the post-workout cool off can prompt you to get sleepy. Nighttime workouts are usually not recommended because exercising strenuously so close to bedtime can make it difficult to wind down. However, if you prefer to do it at night, opt for calmer exercises like yoga and simple stretching.
2. Listen to Relaxing Music
The right kind of music can help you fall asleep and then stay asleep. While everyone has different musical preferences, it’s important to select a style of music that is soothing and relaxing. Make a playlist to last the whole night to avoid interruption. If music isn’t up your alley, you can always try sleeping with white noise playing the background. White noise can be found on almost any music app or you can get a white noise machine. The sounds can range from rain, waves, and more!
3. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a common tactic for relaxation and stress relief, so it goes hand in hand with falling asleep. You can experiment with different scents like lavender until you find one that works best for you. Some of the essential oils that you should start with are not only the lavender scent, but also the lemon/yuzu, bergamot, ylang ylang, clary sage, and jasmine.
4. Put Screens Away
Most of the screens that we use in daily life like laptops, tablets and smartphones all put off a glow of blue light. To our brains, this blue light mimics sunshine and that can confuse our natural circadian rhythm. Moreover, this can be extremely distracting to your brain especially since the your brain works hard even during your sleep. The best way to achieve the best sleep is by avoiding any tech screen so as to not distract your brain from sleeping. Before sleeping, try to avoid all screens for at least an hour.
5. Sleep Supplements
There are natural supplements that can help boost certain levels of brain hormones useful for sleeping. Certain supplements like magnesium and melatonin can help activate neurotransmitters responsible for sleep. However, it should be noted that these supplements should be taken in a timely manner since their purpose is to promote drowsiness.
6. Special Breathing
Certain breathing techniques can boost oxygen levels, slow heart rates and release unnecessary carbon dioxide. One such popular breathing technique is the 4-7-8 exercise. The first step is to close your mouth and inhale from your nose for four mental counts. Next, you’ll hold your breath for another mental count of seven. Lastly, you’ll want to exhale completely from your mouth for eight mental counts.
7. Get Comfortable
Needless to say, getting comfortable is the best way to rest. Make sure to take the time to rearrange your bed to your liking. A big factor of getting comfortable in bed is your mattress. Invest in a high quality mattress like one from Tochta to ensure the best sleep quality. Couple your new Tochta mattress with a few nice pillows, sheets, and the right blanket, and it’s sure to help you get the best night’s sleep.
Stress is a huge culprit when it comes to insomnia. Basic meditation can help combat that stress and prepare the brain for rest. Whether it’s breathing exercises or a guided session, a few minutes of meditation can make for great sleep. The best time to meditate would be before going to bed. So make sure to dedicate around 5-10 minutes to meditate. Make sure to think about the positive aspects about your day or life so as to focus on the least stressful things. Meditating can immensely help you gain a better sleep.
9. Self Care
Basic self care can actually help you not only with your sleep but overall health. Taking the time to take up these measures can relieve the stress of not being able to sleep. This includes having a regular sleeping schedule while avoiding naps, taking a nice bath to relax your muscles, and doing a calming wind-down activity like journaling.
10. Stop Fiending for Caffeine
Everyone loves a cup of coffee or tea after dinner. However, it seems that most are distracted by how tasty these two beverages are. People often forget that these two are caffeinated. Avoiding caffeinated drinks before going to bed will allow for a less restless night and a more restful one.
11. Read Easy Fiction
Sometimes the stress of the day just needs an outlet. Reading easy fiction, the kind that doesn’t make you think too much, can help shut off the active part of the brain while still being relaxing.
There are many pressure points throughout the body, and the simple act of gently squeezing them can relieve anxiety and stress. Just pushing lightly on the spot between your eyebrows or massaging your ears can help promote relaxed sleep. Another point that helps induce sleep is by applying gentle pressure to your spirit gate. The spirit gate is located at the crease on your outer wrist, below your pinky finger. Applying gentle pressure in a circular movement for 2-3 minutes to both wrists can help you get the sleep you need.
13. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an approved method for treating insomnia without the use of medication. CBT-I helps promote the elimination of negative thoughts, something that keeps most up at night. The strategies of CBT-I include but are not limited to, stimulus control therapy, relaxation techniques like mentioned earlier in this post, sleep restrictions, remaining passively awake, and light therapy. All of these strategies will work different for each person so it’s best to experiment with each to see which best works with your sleeping habits.
14. Cool Off
Our bodies change temperature when we sleep. Our core cools off while our extremities warm up. Lowering the ambient temperature of your room helps with these changes and keeps you asleep longer.
15. Avoid Your Clock
Clock-watching can be an obsessive game when you’re wide awake. However, it only adds to the stress of not sleeping in the first place. Try to avoid checking the clock, and if possible, just take it out of the bedroom in the first place.