Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Do you lay in bed tossing and turning for what feels like hours, even when you’re exhausted?
Well, join the club.
According to a Consumer Report, 27 percent of U.S. adults said they had difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep most nights. 68 percent struggled with sleep at least once a week.
Sleep is vital for your health and growth, it’s what allows your system to heal and reset.
Between the current state of the world and our society idolizing the toxic hustle culture, sleep can seem like a luxury you feel you don’t deserve. It can stem from a variety of things. Some people feel guilty that they are sleeping instead of working and others overthink at night and just can’t fall asleep. We are here to let you know that you deserve to get a good night’s sleep, which is why we compiled five easy tips to help you get better sleep.
Five Tips to a Better Night’s Sleep
- Limit Blue Light
The blue light that comes off TV or your cell phone tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime which means instead of powering down for the night, it will automatically begin to power on. Try avoiding electronics in the evening. Maybe try reading or going for a long (socially distanced) leisurely walk. Spend at least an hour before bed with no lights.
- Cut Back on Drinks and Food that Will Limit Your Sleep
Both caffeine and alcohol will mess with your sleep schedule. Try to cut back or cut out both of them. While that half a glass of wine you had with dinner might make you sleepy initially, it will also create restlessness. Caffeine is designed to keep you alert. Although some claim caffeine doesn’t affect them, try cutting it out. You might find that your sleep improves drastically. If you’re consuming a heavy meal, Even a heavy meal too close to bedtime can keep you up.
- Create a Set Sleep Schedule
Test out a consistent sleeping schedule for two weeks. Pick a time to go to bed and set time (or hour) that you wake up every morning (even on weekends!). Our bodies thrive on schedules and can fall into a routine easily. The experts say it takes two weeks minimum to start or break a habit. Give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose!
- Meditate or Journal
Sometimes our brain likes to dig up random thoughts right as we’re trying to drift to sleep. These thoughts can be anything from what you need to do tomorrow, what you didn’t do today, what the postage man said to you this morning, and why you still hate your significant other from High School. Instead of letting these thoughts bounce around in your mind, dump them onto paper. This can help you clear your mind so you can fall asleep peacefully, and also be therapeutic. If you’re getting upset about things from your past, writing them down and processing that trauma can help you sleep AND feel better! Meditating can have the same effect. Just 10 minutes of meditation can calm you down and put you in a relaxed state before tucking yourself in for the night. (I would add in a link to a fun meditation on youtube here)
- Essential Oils and a Diffuser
Essential oils like lavender and sage are great for sleep and relaxation. There are many studies that show lavender improves sleep quality and alleviate symptoms associated with mild insomnia and restlessness. You can use lavender oil with a diffuser or just mix it with water in a spray bottle and spritz it around your bed at night.
Allow yourself time to settle into a routine and try not to stress out about not being able to sleep. If you put a lot of pressure on yourself to fall asleep quickly, that pressure could also be what is preventing your restful night’s sleep. Give yourself time, give yourself space, and remember that everyone is different.
If you have tried a variety of methods (including the ones listed above) and you’re still having trouble falling asleep, consult your doctor to find out if there might be something more serious going on.