Struggling to sleep at night is becoming a bigger problem, with millions of Americans dealing with the effects of insomnia every night. There are several reasons why you might be struggling to sleep; mental and physical health problems can often be characterized by sleeplessness, so it's worth a visit to your doctor if you suspect this might be the case for you. However, more often than not, a lack of sleep is caused by factors that you have control over. Here are five simple changes that you can make to get a better night's sleep.
#1. Upgrade Your Bedding:
Despite environmentalism evolving around the world, the bedding industry is still highly unethical, with cheap labor and harmful chemicals commonplace. Assuming that an average night's sleep is eight hours and you live until you're seventy-five, you'll sleep for around one third of your life. Most of that sleeping time will be spent in your bed, so it's well worth investing in comfortable, anti-allergenic bedding and mattresses. Opt for all-natural, organic bedding and a mattress designed for your sleeping and body type. For example, the big fig mattress is designed to support heavier people throughout the night, leading to a more comfortable sleeping position and fewer aches and pains.
#2. De-Clutter Your Space:
Is your bedroom full of clutter? Maybe your wardrobe is overflowing with clothes that you haven't worn in months, or you have a shelf or vanity table hoarding half-used cosmetic items that you've since upgraded. It can become easy for a small room to get cluttered even with the tidiest of inhabitants, but minimalizing distractions in your sleeping space as much as possible will help to keep your mind clear when you're settling down at night.
#3. Switch Off:
As our laptops, tablets and smartphones hold increasingly more important places in our lives, it's not unusual to be using your gadgets well into the night. Whether you're settling down to watch a movie before bed, reading a book using your Kindle App or getting a head start on work for the next day, it's important to aim for at least one or two screen-free hours before you settle down to sleep. If your smartphone or tablet has night screen capabilities, set it to come on automatically every evening. This will give your body the chance to produce melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone which is key to the sleep-wake cycle in humans.
#4. Avoid Stimulants:
Caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants are useful for getting us going, but it's important to ensure that your body isn't reliant on them. Consuming too many stimulants, particularly later into the day, can be a massive contributor to keep you wide-eyed at night. So, skip the coffee after lunch and opt for water, decaf coffee or caffeine-free herbal alternatives instead.
Being regularly active helps to regulate your body and contributes to a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Exercising in the morning is best for many people, but any time throughout the day is fine. Just make sure that you finish your workout at least three hours before you go to bed.
If you found this advice helpful, we'd love to hear from you in the comments!