If you are having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, you are definitely not alone. There are literally millions of others in the same situation all struggling to get a healthy night of sleep and each one of them suffering the effects of sleep deprivation the next day.
Sleeping through the night can seem like a tall order for those struggling with insomnia, but a few simple changes to your daily routine could make a world of difference. Here are 10 simple steps you can use to get to sleep more quickly, stay asleep longer and wake up more refreshed when the morning rolls around.
1. Calm your mind with meditation. If you want to get a good night’s sleep, start by calming your mind with daily meditation. Engaging in a daily meditation habit will allow you to relax and unwind after a busy and stressful day.
2. Set a bedtime for your devices. Having your own bedtime is important, but so is putting your various mobile devices to sleep. The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets and the like can disrupt your sleep patterns and cause difficulty falling asleep.
3. Avoid caffeine before bedtime. If you want to sleep well and soundly, avoid anything that could disrupt healthy sleep patterns. That means steering clear of anything containing caffeine, including cola, coffee, and even chocolate.
4. Wear what is most comfortable. It is hard to fall asleep when you are not comfortable, so choose your pajamas and other sleepwear with care. Whether it is an old oversized t-shirt, a pair of pajamas, or nothing at all, wear whatever is the most comfortable for you.
5. Consider a white noise machine to calm your mind and soothe your soul. If you live in a noisy area and have trouble getting to sleep, a white noise machine may be able to help. This simple device could be a godsend to your daily routine, allowing you to relax into sleep and snooze away until morning.
6. Block out the world with blackout shades or blinds. It can be hard to get to sleep when the sun is shining brightly, making it difficult for shift workers and others to get the rest they need. If your sleep cycle occurs during daylight hours, try replacing your existing curtains with blackout shades or curtains. Keeping the room dark will also stop you from being woken up by early sunrise in the summer months.
7. Set the right temperature. The temperature of the room can have a big impact on how well, and how long, you sleep. Some people sleep better in a cold room, burrowed under the covers for comfort and snoozing away the nighttime hours. Others like their surroundings a bit warmer, finding comfort in higher temperatures. If you want to sleep soundly, take the time to find your optimal temperature that will help you fall into dreamland quickly and stay there all night long.
8. Consider replacing your mattress. If you cannot remember the last time you bought a new mattress, you may be long overdue for an upgraded sleeping surface. It is almost impossible to sleep on a lumpy, bumpy mattress, so do yourself a favor and get yourself a brand new one.
9. Get checked for sleep apnea. If you are still finding it hard to stay asleep, the problem may be more than blue light and a lack of sleep hygiene. Ask your doctor to evaluate you for sleep apnea, a potentially serious health problem that could predispose you to other dangerous issues.
10. Keep a sleep journal. If you want to sleep better, start by documenting how you are sleeping today. A sleep journal can be quite illuminating, giving you insight into not only how well you are sleeping but the factors that are preventing healthy sleep from happening.
It is not always easy to get to sleep, and the stresses of modern life can make your existing insomnia problems even worse. If you want to fight back and get the rest you need, you need a plan of action, and that starts by working through the 10 steps outlined above.