If you are reading this, chances are you have trouble sleeping. According to Sleephealth.org, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep-related problems. In our constantly on the go lifestyle, slowing it down at the end of the date can often be difficult. If you have chronic sleep problems that affect your daily life, I recommend speaking to a doctor or sleep specialist about it. However, most of us are so used to running on empty, that we have adapted lifestyle changes to accommodate our chronic sleepiness. If you’re tired of being tired, here are my top 5 tips for getting more sleep!
Tip #1: Turn Off ALL Electronics
One of the “go-to” things to do when not sleeping is to check your phone. When you check your phone, blue spectrum light is illuminated from the screen. This blue spectrum light decreases your natural melatonin production. Melatonin production is one of the key physiological factors that help you fall asleep. What I recommend doing is shutting off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Melatonin production happens faster when you are in a dark room, so shut those TVs off and put the phone down to fall asleep faster!
Tip #2: Stick to the Schedule
When you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, your body will start to adjust to that schedule. The natural rhythm that your body falls into when you are consistent with a sleep schedule, can help you become more consistent in getting better sleep. Routine is craved by your body and mind, and the same holds true for your sleep schedule. Even if you don’t fall asleep immediately, lay in bed at the same time every night that you want to fall asleep. Eventually, your body will learn when it’s time to lay in bed and start producing melatonin in conjunction with this regular schedule.
Tip #3: Caffeine In The Morning
While it seems obvious that drinking caffeine later in the day can cause you to have trouble sleeping, the length of time before bed might shock you. Caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. This means if you finish off the day with a cup of hot tea to relax after dinner, make sure that it is caffeine-free. Drinking caffeine at 6 pm will stay in your system until 11 pm. Everyone has different tolerances for caffeine, so experiment early in the day with how well you tolerate it. Some people (like myself) can drink a cup of coffee, and fall asleep 10 minutes later. But, if this isn’t you, just stay away from it anytime after 12 pm.
Tip #4: Read the Funnies
Reading is a great way to take your mind off of the day but stay away from anything that can get your mind in motion. Read something light that can help you escape the stresses of the day, and distract your mind into relaxation.
Tip #5: Exercise Regularly
Exercising on a regular basis will not only make you physically more tired at night, but it will also help balance your hormones which will help with falling asleep. When you exercise is up to you. Some people like to exercise in the morning because it actually gives them more energy throughout the day. While others like to exercise in the evening because it helps the feel tired at night. If exercising helps you get energized, stay away from exercising in the evening!
Sleep is an all-important factor in our health and our day to day success. Sleep should be seen as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. While there may be genetic factors that prevent you from getting solid sleep (which is why I suggested earlier that the first step should be to see a sleep specialist), implementing these 5 tips can help you get a better night’s rest. Please email me your questions to [email protected]!