Considering the fact that we spend a third of our lives sleeping (or at least that should be the case), irregular sleep patterns and problems with insomnia don’t only affect our energy levels throughout the day, but the quality of our lives, as well. Mood swings, frustration, and even depression are often the consequence of lousy nights, which can easily develop into more severe problems.
However, there are things you can start doing today that will have a direct effect on the way you fall asleep and the quality of your sleep. So, keep reading to learn a few simple, yet effective new habits that you should adopt.
Go Heavy in the Gym Regularly
It’s not a well-known fact that exercising helps the body regulate its sleep patterns – but even if people are familiar with this claim, they usually don’t have all the information. Some people consider that working out early in the morning is a smarter choice because it helps you wake up and get your body up and running. However, your body is not ready to give 100% early in the morning, particularly on an empty stomach.
Therefore, you should switch your workout time to the later hours of the day because you will be able to go harder, and you can use the fact that your body is tired from the workout to your advantage – it will help you fall asleep.
You can also get a nice warm shower before your bedtime – it will help your body relax and it will allow you to quickly fall asleep once you’re comfortably tucked into bed.
Furthermore, you should know that there’s a meaningful link between exercise and problems with mental health, such as depression and anxiety. While you work out, your glands release “happy” hormones, which will contribute to your overall mental health and help you deal with these problems.
This piece of information might be useful to you if the reason for your insomnia is that your mind keeps racing and you experience anxiety.
Set a Realistic Bedtime and Stick to It
An important factor in developing a healthy sleeping routine is rhythm. You can’t expect your body to respond to your wants and needs if you don’t have any kind of pace in your life. So, catching a few hours of sleep in irregular time intervals won’t do anymore.
Anyone who suffers from sleep problems knows that there’s nothing worse than staring at the ceiling for hours, and tossing and turning until the light of dawn sneaks through the windows. However, it’s imperative that you remain disciplined and persistent if you truly want to change how your nights look.
Combined only with exercise, being consistent about setting a bedtime will make a big difference. Although you shouldn’t expect a serious change within a night, making your workouts and your bedtime a habit will help you fall asleep easier and you won’t keep waking up in the middle of the night.
Listen to Podcasts instead of Watching TV Shows before Bed
Have you ever wondered why bedtime stories are the perfect way to make a child fall asleep faster? Well, the key to your insomnia also lies in returning to your childhood – a very important prerequisite to falling asleep is feeling careless and emptying your mind.
However, using visual aids won’t do it, which is why you should leave your favorite TV shows for another part of the day. The same goes for scrolling through social media platforms. The reason behind this is that your mind gets cognitively aroused – when that happens, it’s harder for your mind to go from curious to sleepy.
So – you should turn to podcasts. Without focusing on visual stimuli, you’ll become all ears and actually listen to the story. You’d be surprised at how much simpler it is to fall asleep this way – your concentration will drop much faster, which will enable you to drift off.
Turn off all the Lights 30 minutes before Lying Down
Although this tip will sound like you need play tricks on your mind, it’s not about that. For you to be able to lean into sleep mode, you first need to create an appropriate atmosphere and neutralize all possible distractions.
So, make sure that you have taken care of every chore around the house by the time it’s about thirty minutes before your bedtime so that you don’t have to get up later. The same goes for your hygiene routine, so make sure you do everything you need to do before turning the lights off.
If you combine this tip with the guidelines we went through so far, you won’t need more than half an hour to fall asleep and you’ll be right on track with your schedule.
Stay Away from Your Phone and Social Media
Aside from the issue with visual arousal, you will be faced with if you use your smartphone in bed, social media platforms bring in an extensive list of problems, and depression can be one of them. First of all, they are built around the infinite scroll principle, so there’s no end to the scrolling.
Secondly, being on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for means you’ll be engaging in some form of social interaction, which implies that you’ll be liking, sharing, clicking, hearting, etc. and most likely, expecting the same things in return.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, you should not only steer clear of social networks but go as far as leaving your smartphone outside of your bedroom. Knowing that you don’t have to expect a distraction will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep.
Get Checked for things like Sleep Apnea
The reason behind your insomnia problems might be physical. If you’re not familiar with the term, sleep apnea is a breathing disorder – it is possible that you keep waking up during the night because you just stop breathing at some point during sleep.
This condition can sometimes be so severe that you can even stop breathing for a couple of seconds more than thirty times per hour. So, visiting an expert who is capable of helping you treat this issue is a good idea.
Make Sure that There’s Enough Fresh Air in the Bedroom
When it comes to your bedroom atmosphere (and Goldilocks would agree) you should keep it not too warm, and not too cold, but just right. When it’s too hot, most people don’t have problems falling asleep, but chances are that the quality of your sleep will be ruined and that you’ll keep waking up to drink water.
When it’s too cold, falling asleep is usually an impossible task. So, make sure that the temperature is just right, and that there’s enough fresh air at all times – a cracked-open window will do the trick here.
Getting quality sleep isn’t rocket science, but it’s not a piece of cake either, truth be told. As you can see, the tips listed above aren’t really a quick fix, but if you’re committed to making a change and if you’re capable of respecting the goals you set, you’ll be able to enjoy your bedtime and even look forward to it.