having problems falling asleep, we all been there, finding it difficult to sleep at night, lying awake in bed or keep waking up in the middle of the night. see what you can do to spend less time awake in bed and more time doing what you want in bed, ‘sleeping’.
a study 1 has shown over 70% of american have had insufficient sleep at least one night a month. thats a huge number. one reason for their being such a high number is that people thinks it normal to have sleep issues and some even believe there nothing they can do help solve their sleep problems, i know i felt the same.
many years ago i had a terrible time sleeping. getting insufficient sleep felt similar to not being able to reset my body after a hard days work, i felt like a walking zombie. the reason my sleep got so bad for such a long time was because i didn’t know how to make it better, i thought i had tried everything but for a long time i saw no benefit. after many years of trying sleep techniques some of which were more successful than others, my sleep started getting better. lets see some of the more successful techniques which i tried:
getting your mind ready for bed
your should have a sleep routines that once your body follows it understands ‘it’s time to switch off and sleep now’. its similar when going to the gym, you put on your sports clothing, then start your warmup and stretch, only then does your mind and body understands thats its time to train. the same can be said for sleeping, what comes to mind when you go to sleep? i first go to the toilet, then brush my teeth, put on my night clothing and finally i read a book for around 30 minutes. when i have completed this ‘sleep routine’ my mind automatically knows that now it’s time to sleep.
it’s also good to stick to a bedtime schedule, if you keeping changing the time you sleep your body will have a hard time knowing what time to fall asleep. having a sleep timetable can help you fall asleep faster as it helps maintain your body’s internal clock.
a relaxed mind is a relaxed body
it’s all in the mind, the mind dictates where the body should go. where sleep is basically ‘switching off the conscious mind’. if your constantly thinking or stressed your would have a much harder time falling asleep. you must relax your mind even before you get into bed. you need to activities which relax you before you get in bed, whether it’s reading a book, writing a journal (which helps put your thoughts on paper, so that there not continuously running around in your mind), stretching or even meditation. basically you need to find out what relaxes your mind and do those activities before bed.
thou shall not …
with sleep there are things which would help you fall asleep but there are also things that you should avoid doing if you want a good night’s sleep. near the top of the big things is to avoid caffeine, The recommended cut-off time for caffeine use is a minimum of six hours before bedtime 2. each individual is different so you may need more or less than six hours depending on how caffeine affects your body.
another thing you should avoid is all screen light especially all blue light should be avoided before sleeping. some suggest that blue light in the evening disrupts your brain’s natural sleep-wake cycles, which are crucial for optimal health 3.
if your trying to fall asleep you should avoid clock watching. clock watch is when you check the time more often than you need to, every five minutes for example. if you clock watch your mind will focus on what the time is instead of trying to fall asleep. and if after a period you have found out that your still not asleep, you need to stay relaxed, don’t get angry or annoyed as this will make the situation worse. when your angry, your heart rate increases, which increases the blood flow, making it harder to fall asleep.
check out this post which talks about the most successful technique which helped me to fall asleep. because this technique i am able to fall asleep within 5 minutes.
above are just some of the techniques which help me fall asleep, let me know in the comments below what worked for you, what didn’t work for you and if there are any techniques which i missed out.
sleep problems have affected us all. but it becomes much more easier to sleep if you know how to deal with the situation. some techniques which help with sleep is having a sleep routine and falling asleep at the same time and doing activities before bed which relax me.
you shall avoid caffeine, screen time, especially blue light and finally you shouldn’t clock watch.
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Perceived Insufficient Rest or Sleep Among Adults—United States, 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 58:1179