Stop Squirming: Get a Better Night’s Sleep with These 5 Tips
Right now, I’m renting a fully furnished home that was built sometime in the 70s. I know this because there are glow-in-the-dark stars on the (popcorn) ceiling above my bed—and my grandma’s house has the same.
It’s one thing to not be able to sleep…it’s another thing to not be able to sleep and have to stare at phosphorescent star-shaped stickers all night.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of tips for a better night’s sleep— so that now I am rarely taunted by my ceiling. I hope this helps you as well:
1. Increase your exposure to light during the day.
To help you stay awake and inform you when it’s time to sleep, your body has an innate clock known as your circadian rhythm.
While it seems obvious to turn off the lights when it’s time to sleep—it’s also important to increase your bright light exposure during the day to keep your rhythm consistent.
This means opening your curtains when you wake (don’t just work in the dark all day) and getting daily sunlight—or if this isn’t practical, investing in artificial bright light bulbs.
You’ll be more awake during the day, and more asleep during the night.
2. Practice yoga and/or meditation before bed.
For me, insomnia is a symptom of my anxiety. Because of this, I find that soothing my high-strung physical and mental vibrations helps me fall asleep faster. In addition, establishing a nighttime ritual tells my body— “Hey, it’s almost time to sleep!”
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty here, but you can check out this article for more info on yoga for better sleep.
3. Consider supplements.
Melatonin tends to be the hallmark sleep supplement popularly used to treat insomnia. It’s a key sleep hormone that tells your body when it’s time to sleep (remember those circadian rhythms?)
L-Theanine, an amino acid that can induce relaxation, may also help calm your nerves and help you sleep.
Just make sure to check in with your doctor first before taking anything new.
4. Don’t have caffeine in the afternoon.
The internet usually says switch to decaf after 4pm—but I reckon this is for coffee-powered individuals (you know who you are).
However, I am of the variety that caffeine makes me A-W-A-K-E. It’s great to get through the first few hours of the day, but once I stopped drinking it past noon—I was able to fall asleep much faster and stay asleep for longer.
5. Get checked.
There’s no sense suffering sleepily. If you’ve tried everything, see your doctor for an evaluation. They can perform a sleep study and determine if there is a more serious underlying issue causing your insomnia.
With this in mind, I hope you catch some Zs tonight, count some sheep, pour your coffee down the drain, and close the curtains. And most importantly, sweet dreams!
This article was written by Melissa Pelowski. Interested in writing for us too? Email your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.