When you finish a long day, you want to get the best sleep possible to get the energy you need for the following day. So when you find yourself tossing and turning at night, you get frustrated that your body’s not doing what you want it to do. There are many reasons your body could have a hard time sleeping, so here are a few potential causes and remedies.
Feeling Stress and Anxiety
When worries and concerns keep your mind racing, your body is not able to relax. Think of it as browser tabs that you need to acknowledge and exit in order for your brain to slow down and focus on one thing: sleep.
Research shows that the blue light from electronic devices inhibits melatonin from effectively letting sleep take over.
Taking a Nap During the Day
If you nap too late in the day, or take too long of a nap, this can disrupt your sleeping schedule and keep you from dozing off when you need to.
They say you are what you eat, and when it comes to nutrition it couldn’t be more true; steer away from canned, boxed, and processed foods to implement more fresh foods and home-cooked meals to properly nourish your body. You might even consider taking supplements to improve your nutrition intake.
These are conditions you’ll want to talk to your doctor about to decide on the best remedy: sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, or others.
Get Out of Bed
This may seem counter intuitive, but you want to train your brain and body that the bed is where you sleep and not study, muse, or struggle to sleep.
Read a Book
Do something that will make you sleepy, so avoid thrillers if they will keep you awake, and avoid TV unless it’s that show that puts you to sleep.
Get a New Mattress
How long have you had your mattress? Is it too soft, or too firm? You might consider looking into different mattresses that cradle your body right where it needs support without being too soft that you’re enveloped and get overheated during the night. You can even get a customized mattress that meets the level of softness and firmness you need.
Turn on some meditative music, or simply listen to silence while focusing on breathing deep. Shallow breathing occurs in your upper lungs which is used when crying, or feeling panicked, so focus on breathing through your lower lungs which signals your body to feel relaxed, under control, and at peace.
Massage or Stretch
If you don’t have someone to give you a quick massage before bed to release the tension in your posture, stretch areas that are tight, or take a few minutes to pinpoint certain tight areas with yoga stretching exercises you can find on the internet to let your body release the stress you’ve been carrying.
Establish a Routine
Disrupting a nightly routine makes it difficult for the brain to adjust, so try to maintain a consistent schedule for when you go to bed and get up in the morning.
Cool the Temperature
You want to sleep on the cool side so your sleep is uninterrupted by your body overheating. Optimally the room temperature would be around 60-67°F, but find the optimum temperature for you, and use blankets to stay warm during the night.
Avoid Exercise at Night
This stimulates the body’s temperature, so avoid exercising fewer than four hours before bed.
Scents trigger different parts of the brain, so experiment with different aromatherapy oils such as lavender, jasmine, Ylang Ylang, or clary sage to help your body drift to sleep.
Take a Warm Bath or Shower
This is a great way of helping your body relax and steam away some of the tension you’re carrying.
This is good for short-term insomnia, but over long-term it’s treating the symptoms of your problems—not the cause. So use it in emergencies, but do your best to find other ways of falling asleep.
Take a few of these practices and try them for a few nights to see how it affects your sleep pattern. Some habits will take more than a week to settle into the body, so be patient as you experiment to find just the right method for falling asleep quickly.