If you struggle to get the sleep your body needs, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that over 30% of adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. Lack of proper rest can lead to a host of problems, including anxiety, depression and difficulty concentrating. It can also lower your libido and put you at a greater risk for many serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and an unhealthy weight. While there are several factors that contribute to poor sleep habits, most of them can be easily addressed by making simple changes at home. Want to enjoy better rest this week? Give these five approaches a try for a better night’s sleep.
Cultivate the Ideal Sleep Environment
To enjoy deep and effective sleep, there are several conditions that should be met. Ensure that your bedroom is very dark. You may need to place extra coverings on or around windows to make this happen. Utilize an ambient noise machine to block out other sounds that could disrupt sleep patterns. Ambient noise can also help promote relaxation and calm. It’s important to make sure that your home is at an ideal temperature at night. For most, it’s between 66 and 72 degrees. Many people also find that using weighted blankets, sleep masks or earplugs can make a huge difference.
Control Your Eating Habits
The foods and drinks you consume can have a major impact on how you sleep at night. Try to eliminate caffeine completely from your diet. If you just can’t give up your morning coffee, limit consumption to morning hours and enjoy a cup of decaf in the afternoons and evenings. Poor digestion and heartburn can also interrupt your sleep. Don’t eat anything more than three hours before bedtime, and stick to healthy, easy-to-digest choices for dinner. Avoid spicy, greasy or fried foods and stay away from high levels of acidity as well.
Consult a Professional to Address Serious Issues
In some cases, trouble sleeping is caused by more than just a few unhealthy habits. For certain individuals, an underlying condition could be causing their insomnia. This chronic lack of sleep often needs a specific and intentional approach in order to be remedied. Sleep disorders can be harmful if left untreated, so be sure to consult a professional for proper evaluation and treatment if your situation is severe. If your lack of sleep doesn’t improve with positive changes and impairs your everyday functionality and mood, it may be time to talk to a specialist.
Create Healthy Ways to Relax
The mental and physical stresses of the day can make drifting off to sleep difficult. To quiet your mind, create some healthy habits that naturally promote relaxation. Take a hot bath or shower about an hour or two before bed. Turn off electronics within this time frame as well and enjoy a calming activity, such as light reading, meditation, stretching or listening to music. Writing down thoughts and reactions about your day or planning for tomorrow can also make it easier to relax at night.
Consider Giving Natural Cures a Try
There are several natural and herbal remedies that have been known to help promote better rest. Lavender and eucalyptus have long been utilized for their relaxing properties. Use a diffuser to disperse the fragrance of these essential oils throughout your bedroom in the evenings. You can also use lotions and bath soaks made with these ingredients for a relaxing night time soak or mini massage. A soothing cup of hot tea can ease achy muscles. Choosing a chamomile or valerian balm variety can also help promote healthier sleep at night. Melatonin is a natural supplement that can help you fall asleep quickly and easily. It’s typically safe to use for most individuals, but you should always consult a physician before trying any new supplement or medication.
A good night’s sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. If you aren’t getting the sleep you need, give these simple solutions a try. You’ll likely find that you can enjoy better nights and days with a few adjustments to your evening routine. However, don’t try to power through chronic sleeplessness or insomnia. Be sure to consult a professional for treatment so you can prevent complications and resume a more normal, robust life.