Do you have difficulty falling asleep every night? You aren’t alone! According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 60 million people in our nation battle insomnia on any given night.
However, poor sleep isn’t doing you any favors as it makes days seem much longer, stressful and increases your health risks. Try these sleep tips we found on DailyBurn to ease insomnia woes and collect better snooze:
1. Commit to a 60-minute power down: We live in a fast-paced society, which doesn’t do any favors for our snooze. Remember that you aren’t a machine with the ability to fall asleep at will. Do your body a favor and give it a full hour to wind down, with soothing activities such as reading, meditation, yoga or any non-stimulating options that don’t involve using electronics.
2. Take a warm shower or bath: This sleep strategy is popular for good reason. Since our body temperature rapidly drops after getting out of the tub, take one at least an hour before your bedtime to make it easier for your body and brain to shut down. The decrease in temperature helps slow down your digestion, heart rare, and other important metabolic processes.
3. Meditate throughout the day: Don’t wait for nightfall to find relaxation from the days stress. Practice techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, visualization and mindfulness between tasks to stay calm and make it easier to mediate at night.
4. Wait to feel sleepy before climbing into bed: This trick can easily help you avoid insomnia in the future. Your body needs to time to wind down before sleep in a different room, doing so in the bedroom can cause your body disconnect from a positive relationship with shut-eye.
5. Put your worries on paper: Obsessing about negative thoughts can hurt your sleep and your health. Get rid of racing thoughts by giving yourself the freedom to write down what you are thinking, then close the door on those stressors and commit to thinking of only happy thoughts.
6. Don’t watch the clock: This habit can cause plenty of anxiety about not being asleep at the right time as you countdown until the alarm goes off. If you are using your phone, try placing it inside a drawer to fight the urge to look at it every 5 minutes. You may find yourself scrolling through your Facebook feed, pushing sleep further away.
7. Wear socks to bed: For quality sleep, it’s important to maintain optimal body temperature. Socks help dilate your blood vessels for better blood flow throughout the night, keeping your temperature low enough to enjoy your snooze. One study even recommends sleeping in the nude, with socks as your only clothing for deeper sleep.
8. Get out of bed: The longer you wait in bed, the more you increase your chances of insomnia. Your brain has to be conditioned to associate your bed with sleep and nothing else. After 15 minutes of not drifting off, go into a different room with low lighting for relaxing activities; just don’t give to the temptation of playing with your favorite digital devices.
9. Try the 4-7-8 exercise: Controlling your breathing can lower your heart rate and blood pressure to help you get sleepy faster. Try inhaling for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds and exhaling for 8 seconds.
Boost the quality of your life with these sleep tips and let us know what’s been working for you!