There is no denying that millions of people aren’t getting the proper amount of rejuvenating sleep. You may be tempted to turn to sleep mediation at the first sign of insomnia, but most sleep experts encourage us to try changing our habits and learn what truly helps us relax before bed.
Try these drug-free tips shared by The Huffington Post to consistently enjoy better sleep:
1. Skip watching the late night news: Often times the evening news is full of negative topics such as violence, financial struggles and other emotionally reactive content, which pulls at your heart strings or gets you worked up. Try turning off the television at least 2 hours before your bedtime. Read a relaxing book, take a bath, or listen to soothing music.
2. Practice associative activation: Try linking words together to trigger positive emotions, such as “bed” and “happy.” As you continue to add more words, your brain will take over and create a positive story to get you ready for bed.
3. Prepare your brain: If you would like to lower your anxiety and sleep better, focus on doing things that make you feel good before you tuck in for shut-eye. Anything that frustrates you needs to be put on hold until tomorrow.
4. Practice good sleep hygiene: Go to bed and wake up at the same times–including the weekends, don’t eat large meals before bedtime, put away electronics 90 minutes before you tuck in and just say no to caffeine, alcohol and nicotine after 2 p.m.
5. Cool your room down: Add a fan, use lighter blankets, or simply turn down your thermostat to decrease nighttime awakenings and enjoy deeper sleep. Keeping cool is essential to a good night’s sleep.
6. Black out those windows: Sunlight peeking in too soon or the occasional headlights passing by can be distracting. Use shades to darken your room or wear an eye mask, humans sleep best in total darkness.
7. Don’t dwell on problems: If you can’t stop worrying, try using a journal to put down negative thoughts so that you can give positive actions your full attention. Praying, mindfulness and other calming practices have also been proven to help combat a worrying mind, leading to fall asleep quicker.
Protect and improve your health by making sleep a top priority. By sleeping 7-9 hours every night, there is nowhere to go but up!