8 Best Tricks For Getting Good Sleep
By Andrea Watson | September 23, 2020
So, we all know from yesterday that good sleep leads to better brain function and elevated mood as well as a feeling of rejuvenation. So what keeps you tossing and turning at night? Is it racing thoughts, worry, or just that you’re not tired? Maybe your circadian rhythm is off, or you took a long nap today. Maybe you’re just too stressed in general. We are all up to speed on why sleep is important, now we just need to have the how. Well, today you can read about the best ways to get quality sleep right here. So let’s go!
Cut down on sleep
What??? Are you serious??? Yes! Cutting your number of sleep hours can actually be beneficial. It can make it so that when you are ready to sleep, you fall asleep faster and stay asleep better than if you try to go to bed early. Now, don’t overdo this. Too little sleep leads to weakened immunity, higher blood pressure, psychosis, and more. Plus, too much sleep ages you faster mentally. Cutting your sleep to about six hours is totally doable, though. And worth it for better quality sleep.
Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every night and day. Even on weekends. Make sure to incorporate a relaxing bedtime ritual such as taking a warm bath or reading a good book for half an hour or so. Just make it consistent across all bedtimes. When your sleep patterns are irregular, it increases the risk of obesity and high blood sugar, and more.
Get up and walk away
If you don’t fall asleep in 15-20 minutes after going to bed, get up and walk away. Staying in bed will only prolong your frustration and misery anyway. Go do something quiet and relaxing in another part of the house. But don’t play on your phone or use your computer! These are bad for sleep. You could keep reading that book for a while more, or do a crossword puzzle. Pick something you can do in dim light that won’t keep you up any longer. And remember, you still have to wake up at the same time tomorrow, so be sure to choose something that really relaxes you.
Make your sleep space extra comfy
Comfort is key here. If you need pitch blackness, hang up blackout curtains or try a face mask. If you need total quiet, get some ear plugs. If it is the opposite for you, try ambient music (there’s a LOT on YouTube) or a sensory lamp or projector. Make sure you have the right pillow and blanket or comforter. Be sure to check the temperature in your room and adjust your heating/cooling system accordingly. It should not be too hot or too cold. These are all easy and fairly inexpensive ways to get what you need-good investments for great sleep.
You should save certain tasks and activities for certain times of the day. This list includes:
- Schedule stressful tasks for the morning time
- Limit caffeine and don’t have any after 2 p.m.
- Exercise in the a.m. hours
- Limit fluid intake after dinner-including alcohol
- Don’t eat a big meal right before bedtime, keep snacks light and bland
- Do some easy stretching or yoga exercises before bed
- Restrict naps to early afternoon and keep them about 20-30 minutes long
Breathe for relaxation
The way we breathe is important for sleep time. When we sleep or when we relax, we naturally breathe into our stomachs, like inflating a balloon in our belly. This not true for when we are awake. We need to be relaxed to get good sleep. Try this 4-7-8 breathing technique to help you relax and fall asleep. There are several other techniques to choose from as well. My favorite is the Bhramari pranayama.
Smoking is SO bad for you. It causes cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and it ages you faster, to name a few negatives. But it also affects your sleep. Nicotine disrupts sleep and leads to the development of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Nicotine is a stimulant-a substance that keeps you up. The opposite of what you need for quality sleep.
Don’t overuse your bed
Reserve your bed for lovemaking and sleeping only. Don’t read, watch t.v., eat or do anything else in bed that don’t fit the two prior mentioned categories. Doing so can teach your brain that bed is a place for every day activities, not just sleep. When your brain and body know that your bed is a place specifically meant for sleep, then it is easier to fall asleep when you lie down at night.
So what have we learned here? First, quality sleep is important for your brain, your health, and well-being. Second, there are lots of ways we can get better quality sleep, including watching our schedule, avoiding nicotine, and creating a fixed routine. Third, there are some nasty drawbacks to not getting the kind of sleep we need. If you have to shop for something extra, limit liquids after dinner, or practice breathing exercises for relaxation, it will be well worth the investment of time or money. Sleep is awesome. We all know it. So let’s all go for it and start rocking our sleep.
Fall asleep for lifeTweet