The lights are off, the night is old, and yet you still can’t manage to fall asleep. You have real trouble sleeping! Insomnia strikes the sleep schedule of thousands, if not millions every night. Although there is no cure-all for the frustrating hours spent wide awake, there are several steps you can take to improve not only the speed but also the quality of your sleep.
The first thing to tackle when prepping for the night is the environment. Check the room temperature first so that you will have time to adjust if needed. When you sleep, your core temperature actually drops.
Cooling the room down externally will help your body transition into sleep. Temperature and comfort are incredibly important for a deep night’s sleep.
In fact, you can even buy cooling gel memory foam mattresses that both mold to your body for maximum comfort and help regulate your temperature.
A mattress that is too firm or too soft can not only prevent you from falling asleep but can also cause you to wake up sore and ill-rested in the morning.
Invest in a quality mattress; there are even a variety of excellent options online for a hassle-free experience.
To further improve your sleep, pay attention to the humidity in the room. Dry air can cause sore throats and postnasal drip, so try using a humidifier for optimal conditions.
Next, check for sound. This will rely more on your personal preference, but a space that is either chaotic or silent may interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Once again, feel free to experiment.
Try adding different sounds, keeping in mind that if the room is too quiet, it can actually cause just as many problems as a room that is too loud.
Try a sound machine with white noise or nature sounds, or use a fan for its quiet, ambient sounds.
The last step to check in your physical environment is the light. The darker the room, the more your body will naturally transition into its sleep mode.
However, this can bring about night terrors or paranoia for some, so don’t hesitate to use a soft night light or keep a light on outside the door if necessary.
If keeping it dark in the room is impossible, you can always try a sleep mask for a real blackout effect.
Perhaps the most common source of light today is from technology. Unfortunately, the blue light from most screens suppresses melatonin, a chemical your body naturally produces to help you fall asleep.
Further effects of blue light can be found on Harvard’s Medical School web page, explaining the results of numerous studies.
To avoid waking yourself back up again, put away the phones, laptops, and tablets before going to bed.
Aside from blue light, technology can also interfere with your sleep by disturbing not just your eyes, but also your mind.
Checking social media, reading e-mails, and responding to last-minute texts can increase your anxiety levels and prevent your body from falling asleep.
Once the environmental and physical factors of the night are addressed, focus on calming and preparing your mind for rest.
There are a couple of simple ways to help put your mind at ease and reduce stress to help reduce your trouble sleeping
- Write out a to-do list. This prevents your brain from planning and scheduling and trying to remember everything that must be done the next day when you lie down.
- Write out a list of three positive things that happened to you that day. Reminding yourself of anything from a delicious meal to a compliment from a friend will help elevate your mood, and improve your sleep.
- Drink a calming cup of tea. Just make sure to stay away from anything caffeinated. Even if it doesn’t keep you from falling asleep, caffeine can disrupt your circadian rhythms and lower the quality of your sleep during the night. Here are some trouble sleeping remedies to check out as well as mental health awareness.
Although everyone will experience insomnia in their own way, there are certain steps that can be taken in preparing the mind, environment, and body to ensure a quality night of rest without waiting hours to fall asleep.
You can find much more information on living a holistic lifestyle in these free magazines and on our YouTube channel.
Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction. If you are looking into getting a cooling gel memory foam mattress consider looking online at Dynasty Mattress.