With the demands of our modern lives, it can be difficult to find time to unwind and get our mental health needs met. Between work, school, social commitments and family life, it’s no wonder many of us struggle to carve out the time we need for ourselves.
When you add an active nightlife and an abundance of digital noise, it’s no wonder so many of us feel anxious and exhausted. Helping yourself unwind and fall asleep is an important part of feeling well rested.
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you are not alone. Getting a good night’s rest is crucial to feeling well mentally, emotionally, and physically. The right amount of sleep is a key part of feeling rested and refreshed.
Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Issues With Your Sleep
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, you may want to address any issues with your sleep first. Making sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep is the first step to feeling better.
However, there are a few other areas you can focus on to help improve this further. First, make sure your bedroom is cool and dark. If your room is too warm or too bright, you’re likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
Keeping your room cool and dark will help you sleep better, and keep you from waking up too early. A good sleep routine is also important. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. This should include going to bed at the same time each night, and keeping your bedroom quiet and dark.
Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and help people fall asleep faster. If you struggle to fall asleep, regular exercise may be beneficial for you. Try to keep your exercise routine 30-60 minutes before bed, as this may help you fall asleep faster.
Don’t Watch TV In The Hour Before Bed
The blue light emitted from many digital devices, including TVs, computers, and phones, is believed to be sleep-disrupting. This blue light can keep you up longer, and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
If possible, try to avoid looking at digital screens for two hours before bed. Try to avoid using any electronics, including TVs, computers, or phones, two hours before bed. This may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you find it hard to follow this rule, you can try using blue light filters on your devices, or wearing blue light glasses.
Create A Sleep Friendly Atmosphere In Your Bedroom
Creating a relaxing environment may be helpful for some people. You can do this in a number of ways. Try creating a calming soundtrack, and dimming all lights in your room.
You can also try meditating before bed or doing some deep breathing exercises. You can also try keeping your bedroom cool and dark and turning off any bright lights.
These activities may help you relax and fall asleep faster. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself, though, as you also need to unwind before bed.
Have A ‘Set’ Bed Time Schedule
When you’re fighting insomnia, it’s important to follow a consistent sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time every day, and keep your bedroom as quiet and dark as possible.
This will help you get to sleep, and help you stay asleep. If you have trouble falling asleep at the same time, you may want to try experimenting with going to bed earlier the following day.
You can use this time to relax and unwind, before you go to sleep again at the usual time. If you find that you can’t fall asleep at the usual time, try staying up as late as you can and then going to bed as usual the next morning.
Avoid Alcohol In The Evening
I know how tempting it can be to unwind with a glass of wine in the evening, but alcohol can actually hinder your sleep. Firstly, it increases the risk of needing the loo in the night.
It prevents you from falling into a deep sleep and affects your body clock. Your body may fall asleep quickly after drinking alcohol, but the body builds up a tolerance to alcohol quickly, so you’ll need more and more alcohol in order to sleep.
Avoid Using Your Phone Before Trying To Sleep
We spend a huge amount of our time using our digital devices, including phones and computers. If possible, try to avoid using these two hours before bed. This may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It’s also important to avoid any stimulating or exciting activity two hours before bed.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
This is such a simple yet somewhat obvious one, but give yourself a cut-off time for consuming caffeine. Caffeine can help to improve energy, focus and sports performance.
However, it’s a stimulant, so it’s likely to keep you away when trying to sleep if you’ve had caffeine late in the day. Believe it or not, caffeine can last in your blood stream for upto eight hours.
So I give myself a cut-off of 5pm where I won’t allow myself to consume caffeine based products, and it’s definitely made a difference.
Relax and Unwind Before Trying To Fall Asleep
It’s said that half the UK population suffers from stress-induced sleep problems, so it’s important that you give your body and mind time to relax before trying to sleep.
This could be watching TV, reading a book, listening to music or burning a scented candle – anything that will help relax your mind and body, so it’s ready for sleep.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
For my last of sleep tips, it’s temperature. When you’re lying in bed trying to go to sleep, your body temperature decreases to try and initiate falling asleep.
When the temperature in your bedroom is hot, it’ll be harder to fall asleep than it would be when trying to sleep in a cooler bedroom. The optimal sleeping temperature is said to be between 15 and 20 degrees centigrade.
Tips For Staying Asleep
As well as following a consistent sleep schedule, you can also try following a few simple guidelines to help you stay asleep. Try to avoid reading or watching stimulating content before bed.
Try to avoid eating a large meal before bed, as this can make it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol, as this may make it harder for you to fall asleep.
If your sleep is disturbed, try using ear plugs to block out any noise while you sleep. You can also try to avoid sleeping in an uncomfortable position, as this may make it harder for you to sleep.
Good sleep is critical for feeling well and getting the most out of your day. Help yourself fall asleep faster by keeping your room cool and dark, avoiding stimulating content before bed, and making sure you get enough sleep each day.