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What Can You Do To Help Yourself Sleep Better

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Tips To Help You Fall Asleep

Ways to Increase Your Sleep Quality and Sleep Better

You may have heard about some tricks to help you fall asleep. You dont really have to count sheepyou could try counting slowly to 100. Some people find that playing mental games makes them sleepy. For example, tell yourself it is 5 minutes before you have to get up, and youre just trying to get a little bit more sleep.

Some people find that relaxing their bodies puts them to sleep. One way to do this is to imagine your toes are completely relaxed, then your feet, and then your ankles are completely relaxed. Work your way up the rest of your body, section by section. You may drift off to sleep before getting to the top of your head.

Use your bedroom only for sleeping. After turning off the light, give yourself about 20 minutes to fall asleep. If youre still awake and not drowsy, get out of bed. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed.

If you feel tired and unable to do your activities for more than 2 or 3 weeks, you may have a sleep problem. Talk with your doctor about changes you can make to get a better nights sleep.

The Timing Of Exercise May Matter

Some people may find that exercising close to bedtime seems to keep them up at night, says Gamaldo. How does working out affect the mind?

  • Aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins. These chemicals can create a level of activity in the brain that keeps some people awake. These individuals should exercise at least 1 to 2 hours before going to bed, giving endorphin levels time to wash out and the brain time to wind down, she says.
  • Exercise also raises your core body temperature. The effect of exercise in some people is like taking a hot shower that wakes you up in the morning, says Gamaldo. Elevation in core body temperature signals the body clock that its time to be awake. After about 30 to 90 minutes, the core body temperature starts to fall. The decline helps to facilitate sleepiness.

Despite these biological responses to exercise, other people find that the time of day they exercise doesnt make a difference. Whether its in the early morning or close to bedtime, theyll see a benefit to their sleep, says Gamaldo. Know your body and know yourself, she says. Doctors definitely want you to exercise, but when you do it is not scripted.

Exercising For Better Sleep

Working out is great for your body and mind and it can also help you geta good nights sleep. But, for some people, exercising too late in the daycan interfere with how well they rest at night.

Based on available studies, We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality, says Charlene Gamaldo, M.D. , medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital. But theres still some debate as to what time of day you should exercise. I encourage people to listen to their bodies to see how well they sleep in response to when they work out, she adds.

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Limit Your Alcohol Intake Too

Put down the wine, beer, or cocktails at least three hours before hitting the sheets. Alcohol decreases your REM sleep, a sleep stage that occurs during the first 90 minutes after you fall asleep. We dont fully understand the underlying reason for REM sleep, but decades of study strongly suggest that it delivers important developmental and restorative functions for the brain, says Breus. Its believed that this sleep phase helps with memory consolidation and emotional processing.

How To Sleep Better When Stressed

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Fact-Checked

If stress has ever kept you tossing and turning at night, you’ll agree that stress and sleep problems seem to go together.

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system , causing an increased heart rate and high blood pressure that keep you alert instead of letting you sleep. Even when you do manage to fall asleep, this sleep may be of poorer quality and you may wake up more frequently throughout the night. Since poor sleep can increase symptoms of stress , these sleepless nights can turn into a vicious cycle.

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How To Get Back To Sleep When You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night

If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and cant get back to sleep, get out of bed for a few minutes. Rather than tossing, turning, and getting frustrated, get up and do some calming, low-light activities. But whatever you do, resist the urge to reach for your phone remember that blue light induces alertness and could make your midnight insomnia worse. Instead, you can make yourself some tea, stretch, read a book, or try some relaxation techniques or bedtime yoga to help yourself wind down again.

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How To Get Better Sleep

Sleep crucial for everyone to live their best life, and yet many of us aren’t doing it well. Stress, technology, environment and other factors can ruin a night of sleep, leaving you feeling exhausted when you wake up, even if you got 8 hours.

We’ve rounded up our best sleep tips right here to help get a better night’s rest.

Focus On Trying To Stay Awake

9 Tips For a Better Sleep

Its believed that if you go to bed and try to force yourself to fall asleep, your chances of succeeding drop dramatically.

Instead, you can try paradoxical intention. This technique involves trying to stay awake instead of forcing yourself to sleep.

Its based on the idea that the stress and anxiety produced by forcing yourself to fall asleep can prevent you from relaxing and snoozing.

Research is ultimately mixed, but some studies have showed that people who adopt this technique tend to fall asleep faster (

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Symptoms Of Poor Sleep

Not getting enough quality sleep can cause nightmares and sleepwalking that lead to groggy mornings. You may also feel excessive sleepiness throughout the day, not just in the mornings.

Other signs that you arent getting enough sleep include:

  • Tired or heavy eyes
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty thinking or staying on task

Now that you know what to watch out for, read on to learn how to wake yourself up in the morning and how to get better quality sleep.

Use Light To Your Advantage

Natural light is one of the main signals affecting your circadian rhythm. When your body senses light, it triggers a subconscious response that indicates you should be alert. Waking up to daylight can help make mornings easier. Try sleeping with your curtains open so you wake up to natural sunlight or a bright light each morning.

If you live somewhere with street lights or other lights that can keep you up during the night, try using an alarm clock with a built-in light. Known as wake-up light alarm clocks, these clocks slowly turn on light in the morning to mimic the rising sun.

Take steps to ensure your sleep space is an ideal environment to get some shut-eye. The body sleeps best in dark, cool environments. Try using blackout curtains to block out outside lights that may disrupt sleep. If you tend to get cold, add a few extra blankets on the bed instead of cranking up the thermostat.

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Should I Go To The Gym With Little Sleep

Generally speaking, its not a good idea to go to the gym and work out as you normally would if youre running on low sleep.

But its more a matter of how you work out, rather than whether you should or should not.

If you try to do high-intensity exercise or work out for a long duration, youre putting yourself at serious risk of injury.

Whats worse is youre going to drain your energy stores, which are already lower than usual due to the lack of sleep. That means youre not going to be fully recovered the next day.

If you do go to the gym after a night of little sleep, its a good idea to keep it short and light. Around 30 minutes of light to moderate cardio should pose little risk, and may even be beneficial in helping you sleep better that night.

Nix The Screens Before Bed

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You might think scrolling through Instagram is a totally relaxing pre-snooze activity but its actually the complete opposite. The light from these devices and the emotions that can result from checking email or social media sites can make it harder to unwind and fall asleep, says Richard Blackburn, PhD, sleep psychologist at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. The blue light actually blocks the release of melatonin , explains Blackburn. He suggests putting your iPhone into night shift mode when youre ready for bed, as this removes the blue light on your screen. But an even better option is to skip the electronics altogether.

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What Do My Habits Have To Do With It

Some people lay in bed staring at the ceiling in part due to chronic pain, depression, medications or other substances that can interfere with sleep. When you treat those issues, often it will naturally help improve your ability to sleep.

However, despite addressing other medical or psychiatric conditions, sleep difficulties often will persist. People who have chronic insomnia worry excessively about sleep and the effects of insomnia. They also become more and more agitated and tense as bedtime gets closer.

If youre very worried about getting good sleep, you can put a lot of effort into getting sleep and have a lot of anxiety at night, says Dr. Drerup. This makes you more alert and can keep you lying in bed wide awake.

Identify Your Blind Spots

Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots helps us discover our areas of improvement.

One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a daytrigger meaning making me feel annoyed, frustrated, or angry. These represent my blind spots.

Once I know these triggers, I can identify ways to improve them or overcome them.

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Work Out Earlier In The Day

This one is a bit of a personalized recommendation. Though popular advice warns against working out too close to bedtime, current research suggests that nighttime exercise may not hurt sleep quality and can even help some people fall asleep faster.

If you usually do a hard workout at night and are having trouble sleeping, try shifting it earlier in the day to see if that helps. If you workout at night and sleep great, then keep on keeping on.

Create A Consistent Sleeping Pattern

How To Get Better Sleep

Going to bed at different times every night is a common habit for many people. However, these irregular sleeping patterns could interfere with sleep because they interrupt the bodys circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm is a selection of behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. A primary function of the circadian rhythm is to determine whether the body is ready for sleep or not.

This is heavily influenced by a biological clock that releases hormones to induce sleep or wakefulness. Going to bed at the same time every night helps the body clock predict when to induce sleep.

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Set The Correct Temperature In Your Bedroom

One of my absolute least favorite things in life is waking up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat. It’s gross and leads to a fitful night’s rest — plus, I feel weird if I don’t wash the sheets the next day.

If you’ve ever gotten in a fight with a partner about what temperature to set the bedroom at, you now have a scientific study to back you up — researchers say that the best sleep happens in a room that’s between 60 to 67 degrees F. You can also get some lighter blankets or use a ceiling fan if it’s not feasible to turn the thermostat that low.

More On Sleep Studies

regular exercise may lead to better sleep. The key here is regular. One or two workouts may make you physically tired, but thats unlikely to lead to better sleep. But regular exercise appears to create a gradual improvement in sleep. In one study it took four months for exercisers to see an improvement in sleep, but the change was remarkable. Exercisers eventually gained at least 45 minutes of extra sleep a night a much better result than many people get with drug treatments. The lesson: If you have insomnia and dont exercise, start.

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Proven Tips To Sleep Better At Night

A good nights sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function (

10 ).

Over the past few decades, both sleep quality and quantity has declined. In fact, many people regularly get poor sleep .

If you want to optimize your health or lose weight, getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important things you can do.

Here are 17 evidence-based tips to sleep better at night.

14 ).

It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when its time to sleep .

Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration .

In people with insomnia, daytime bright light exposure improved sleep quality and duration. It also reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 83% .

A similar study in older adults found that 2 hours of bright light exposure during the day increased the amount of sleep by 2 hours and sleep efficiency by 80% .

While most research involves people with severe sleep issues, daily light exposure will most likely help you even if you experience average sleep.

Try getting daily sunlight exposure or if this is not practical invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs.

22 ).

33 ).

Masturbation Improves Blood Flow Where It Counts

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Orgasms are really good for blood flow, says Millheiser. Thats especially important for women on birth control pills, who are breastfeeding, or approaching menopause when blood flow can be compromised due to changing hormones. The result: less intense orgasms. Masturbation can help make your Os bigger and increase your natural lubrication to make sex more comfortable and enjoyable.

Consider this your excuse to schedule regular sessions with your vibratoryou know, for health reasons.

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Take A Warm Bath Or Shower

Speaking of the ideal sleeping temperature, studies suggest that taking a warm bath or shower at night, one or two hours before going to bed, can help get you there. If you time it right, a warm soak will naturally heat up your body while the cooling down process will make your body’s pre-sleep dip in temperature even more pronounced. Plus, a nice bath or shower is a great way to relax and decompress at the end of a long day.

Organize Your Bedroom Strategically

Its not only about the quality of your mattress, but how its arranged in your bedroom, thats important for sleep success. Move your bed a comfortable distance from the bedroom door where you can still see who or what is coming through, but so youre not in the direct path, says Beth Steflik, Feng Shui consultant and teacher. This placement provides the body the needed relief from the activity of the door, which calms the amygdala the fight-or-flight mechanism of the brain.

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Avoid Caffeine Late In The Day

Caffeine can significantly lower your bodys ability to fall asleep. Caffeine can last in your body for up to 10 hours after consumption, some people storing higher concentrations than others. Every individual’s body is differentwhile some may get less or light sleep with even little traces of caffeine, others may not be affected by large concentrations.4

While you may not be able to give up your coffee during the day, consider staying away from beverages containing caffeine at least 5 to 6 hours before your bedtime. This time period allows your body to develop enough melatonin without being obstructed by the effects of caffeine.4

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