Most adults struggle with sleep. In fact, estimates show that 33 percent of the adult population often suffers from mild to chronic insomnia. In the US, the numbers specifically put it about 70 million people suffering from some sort of sleep disorder. When you’re a teenager or young adult, not getting enough sleep is not a problem.
You can party all night, sleep for just 2 hours and be up all day doing stuff. But as you get older –starting from your mid-20s- your body starts requiring more sleep. At this point, you really can’t keep running on “fumes” anymore. You’ll notice a marked decrease in your mental and physical performance.
You’ll start feeling “slow” and tired. You’ll probably struggle to stay awake during the day, and find that you can’t think clearly. Worse, it will start taking a toll on you physically in the sense that you’ll age faster –which is why sleep is associated with beauty. Thankfully, a few lifestyle changes may be able to tackle your insomnia –whether mild or chronic.
Create a Sleep Routine
What time do you go to bed at night and what do you do before that? Do you just jump into bed and try to fall asleep? Or do you do things that will actually help you relax?
For example, you can have a hot or cold bath –depending on the weather- at night, drink some warm milk or wine, watch a comedy that will help you relax, or talk to a loved one. These are just examples of activities that you can do. Then, start training yourself to go to sleep at a certain time.
You can do this by always getting in bed at that time. That way, your mind will automatically associate that time with your sleep schedule –you can always learn more about sleep schedules online. After a while, you’ll find that you’ll be more likely to fall asleep then.
Get More Exercise During the Day
Exercise not only floods your body with dopamine and endorphins, but it is also great for relaxing your body and lowering your stress levels. This is important if you’re largely sedentary during the day or feel wired at night. Exercise also indirectly stimulates the body’s production of melatonin which is the sleep hormone. You can also take melatonin supplements to sleep better.
So, even if you’re averse to working out, try doing it for the sake of getting enough sleep. If you’re wired in the evening, make sure to go lift weights until you tire out. And if you can’t lift weights, just do workouts that will get you tired. Some people find jumping jacks and moderate-paced jogging tires them out pretty quickly.
Find what works for you and do it. The one thing you’ll probably notice is that you’ll sleep deeply and your sleep quality will be much improved. You’ll often wake up feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Eliminate Screens from the Bedroom
Do you have a TV in the bedroom? Maybe it’s time to rethink that. The same applies to your phones, tablets, and other devices. These devices have blue lights that often interfere with your body’s ability to produce melatonin.
This is why even when you’re tired, you’ll struggle with sleeping when you keep staring at screens in the bedroom. So, as much as possible, put an end to the screens in your room. What some people do is have a no-screen rule in the bedroom. So, all their devices stay in the living room or wherever they prefer.
But if for some reason, you can’t do that, put the phone or tablet in silent mode and put it inside a drawer in the bedroom. And turn off the TV. The important thing is to not use the phones or devices while you’re in bed.
Don’t Drink Stimulants Late in the Day
Stimulants like coffee, energy drinks, and caffeine supplements should not be taken late in the day –after 4 pm. They are meant to keep you awake and energized, which is the opposite of what you want to be when you’re going to bed.
So, avoid these substances late in the day. If you must take them, make sure that you have the last drop at least six hours before bed. This way, the substances would have been eliminated from your body by the time you’re going to bed.
Apart from these tips, work on making your bedroom conducive to sleep. This means closing the blinds, lowering or increasing the room’s temperature when necessary, using a solid bed –not too soft and not too hard, and minimizing noises from the street. These will help you sleep better at night.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash