A peaceful night’s sleep is something we all want, but some of us rarely get it! According to Aviva, one-third of people in the UK suffer from insomnia, which shows that the problem affects many people. If you lie in bed staring at the clock every night, then it’s likely you suffer from insomnia.
The Sleeping Pill Problem
Our first port of call when we struggle with sleep is usually our GP. Unfortunately, the only thing your doctor can do is prescribe you sleeping pills, which often make the problem worse. Once you become dependent on the medication, it will stop working and your sleep problems will continue.
While sleeping pills are good for short-term insomnia, you should work on improving your sleep by taking the following steps.
Bedtime Routine Tips
Sometimes we can’t sleep because our brains are too active from a hectic day, but implementing a bedroom routine can improve your sleep pattern.
Move Away From The Electrics
After a long day at work, curling up in front of the TV is something we all like to do. There’s nothing wrong with using your phone, laptop or TV in the evenings, but put them aside an hour before bed. Electronic devices can disturb your body clock and stimulate your brain, which will make it hard to switch off.
If you check your emails or watch the news before bed it can cause stress, which is one of the most significant causes of insomnia. You might also get caught up in what you’re doing and forget that you need to wind down.
Relax, Breathe and Meditate
One of the biggest problems people have when trying to sleep is switching off their minds. If you toss and turn each night worrying about past or future events, you need to relax. Breathing exercises and meditation aren’t for everyone, but many find that using relaxation techniques eases their anxiety.
There are plenty of relaxation exercises you can try including:
- Guided Meditation
- Muscle Relaxation
- Deep Breathing
- Yoga Breathing Techniques
Click here for more information about each of these exercises.
Read a Book
What better excuse could there be for cracking open the latest bestseller? Reading is one of the best things to do before bed, but keep away from the Kindle! Sit in a quiet room and read until you feel sleepy. If you wake up in the night and find it hard to get back to sleep, reading can help shut your brain off.
Listen to Music
If reading isn’t your thing, then listen to music before bed. Music has many relaxing benefits, but many people don’t choose the right music to promote sleep. The last thing you should do is put the latest Rhianna album on, so try these soothing songs.
Take Your Worries Away
We all worry about things, but some people just can’t let them go. If you’re the type of person who waits until bedtime to reflect on your problems, it’s time to change the way you handle things. Take some time before you go to bed and list the things that are worrying you. Is there a simple solution?
By acknowledging your worries and anxieties, you can put things into perspective and create a plan about how you’ll address them.
Drink Herbal Tea
Most people know that caffeine before bed is a big no, but herbal tea can help you drop off to sleep. Make sure you choose a caffeine-free blend and sip it while you listen to music. Hot chocolate is also fantastic for relaxation, and a light snack is OK too. Choose healthy food before bed and stay away from fatty and spicy snacks.
Don’t Get Annoyed
Most people fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes of their head hitting the pillow, and it shouldn’t take longer. If you’re not able to sleep after half an hour, then you might need to accept that you’re not tired enough and do something else. Sometimes, reading for ten minutes is enough to make you want to sleep, but don’t get annoyed if you’re not feeling tired.
It’s common to stare at the clock and try to will ourselves to sleep, but this will frustrate you more. Remember, stress causes insomnia, so refrain from lying in bed.
Speak to Others
It’s easy to watch TV every evening, but spending time with your friends and family can relax you. Why don’t you play a board game before bed? People tend to feel happier when they spend time with people they like, so talk to others about their day and make time to share your worries with each other.
Keep Your Temperature Down
Women know all too well that certain times of the month can affect their sleep patterns! The main reason for this is during your menstrual cycle, your body temperature increases, which impacts your sleep. The National Sleep Foundation states that the ideal body temperature for sleeping is between 15.5 and 19 degrees celsius, so make sure you heat or cool your environment accordingly.
Enjoy Your Sleep
Many people look forward to going to bed, especially after a long day. Don’t use your bed until it’s time to go to sleep and watch TV in the living room. People who spend a lot of time in bed during the day don’t appreciate it as much when it comes to sleeping.
Remember, sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle and poor sleep can impact your physical and mental health. Change your routine and don’t be afraid to experiment with relaxation exercises and music. Following the above tips will take you closer to the eight hours of peaceful slumber you daydream about!