Sometimes, a good night’s sleep feels like winning the lottery! We work so hard during the day, and we’re typically exhausted by evening, yet falling (and staying) asleep can be hit and miss for many of us. There are many factors that play into sleepless nights including stress, health issues, schedule changes and simply not being able to calm our mind. If you suffer from insomnia, here are some tips you may not be implementing that can help.
- Sleep in a cool, dark room. Yes, it sounds odd, but researchers have found that maintaining a constant temperature in the sixties helps the body sleep well. The other added benefits to a cool room is allowing your body to release more melatonin, “which has been shown to protect brain health and fight against cancers, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.” Studies also show that melatonin improves weight control by increasing “beige” fat, a heat-generating type of fat that helps the body burn calories.”
- Maintain a sleep schedule. Do your best to go to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time in the morning. Yes, even on weekends.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy food a few hours before bedtime. Alcohol disrupts sleep, even though it seems like it helps you go to sleep. We all know that caffeine can keep you awake and reduce the number of hours you sleep. Eating a lot or eating heavy foods is also not recommended before bedtime. Digesting food is hard work, and if your body is busy digesting food it doesn’t have time to slow down and relax!
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom. This is a hard one, I know, but it is a biggie. The lights from electronics stimulate your brain and keep it awake. If your brain is awake it will keep your body awake. Quiet activities like reading a book, taking a bath or having a conversation with a loved one will help calm your mind.
- Write Out Your Worries and Thoughts before bedtime. Lots of people struggle with a busy brain at bedtime. Take time out during the afternoon or early evening to write out what you need to do, what is on your mind, worries, joys, etc. This helps your brain get it all out ahead of time and at bedtime you can just relax and sleep.