Learning how to sleep better is critical to functioning at optimal levels throughout the day and in life. Without sleep, and good quality sleep at that, your body won’t be able to recover from the day and regenerate cells.
Sleep helps keep your heart healthy, your weight in check, and your mind focused. Many people have difficulties falling asleep and want to know how to sleep faster, because tossing and turning for hours is certainly not helping.
Drinking a glass of warm milk, taking a warm bath, inhaling the scent of lavender, and hearing soothing white noise are all great ways to prepare for a good night’s sleep, but those are only a few of the numerous tips available that can teach you how to fall asleep properly and quickly.
Things to Help You Sleep
There are a few key ways to help you learn how to sleep better. According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 33% of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society suggests that adults between 18 and 60 should get seven hours of sleep per night.
Getting less than that can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Proper sleep is a chronic problem for many people, and the results poor sleep have an impact. Learning how to sleep better at night naturally is important for overall health and well-being. Below are some amazing ways to sleep better and some things to help you sleep faster:
1. The 4-7-8 breathing technique: Dr. Andrew Weil came up with this breathing technique that allows the body and mind to rest. Do it when you are already lying down in bed. Get yourself centered and calm, then begin. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then breathe out for eight seconds. Repeat this four times. The exercise will deliver more oxygen to the brain than normal breathing, helping to relax the parasympathetic nervous system.
2. Stick to a sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends (as awful as that might sound), will keep your body regulated and promote better sleep.
3. Prepare a bedtime routine: A bedtime routine isn’t just for kids—it can help adults too. An hour before bed, turn off all devices and start winding down by doing things you enjoy, maybe reading a book or watching the stars—anything you find soothing. This will help you de-stress and be more ready to sleep.
4. When your mind won’t quit, get out of bed: We all toss and turn some nights, and many of us may think it’s better to just stay put and wait for sleep to come, but this isn’t necessarily right. Getting out of bed when you’re clearly not sleeping will break that cycle and make it easier for you to rest once you’re ready to try again. Get up and get a drink, walk around, sit on the couch, or do light, non-stimulating activities for 15 to 30 minutes, and then try sleeping again.
5. Take a warm bath: A great way to unwind and de-stress is by taking a bath. Not only is the warm water soothing, but it will raise your body temperature by a bit, which will make your natural pre-bedtime temperature drop even more pronounced and relaxing. Add a few drops of lavender oil for added relaxation benefits.
6. Do some yoga: Yoga is an ancient practice of striking poses that helps the body and mind relax. Doing even 10 minutes of light yoga in a darkened room can really settle your mind and get your breathing under control.
7. Avoid naps: If you’re having trouble sleeping, it might be wise to avoid daytime naps any longer than 30 minutes, or you might put your nighttime sleep at even greater risk.
8. Be comfortable: Make sure you are sleeping on a comfortable mattress—it makes a huge impact on a good night’s sleep. Also, ensure your room isn’t too hot or too cold. If your room is slightly cooler than how you normally like it, you’ll likely sleep better.
9. How to sleep better — tip for teenagers: Teens are constantly on their devices and staying up late. If you have to, cut off the Wi-Fi at some point at night so they can’t go online. Or have a discussion to let them know how important sleep is.
10. Things to help you fall asleep: Getting to sleep can be tricky, so try using a white noise machine or playing soft classical music as background noise to help distract your mind. A sleep mask is often a good idea, particularly if you are in a room that can’t be completely dark. Another item that might be useful is a room or pillow spray that is made for relaxing the mind.
11. Some natural things to help you sleep: There are certain teas you can drink to help you fall asleep naturally and without sleeping pills. Peppermint and chamomile tea are two choices that will help promote calm.
12. Things to help you sleep when stressed: Stress is a huge factor in not being able to sleep. Massages, if you can get them, are a great option to help settle your nerves, as is reflexology, and any kind of pampering like a pedicure or manicure. All of these have residual effects that can improve sleep quality.
Getting a good night’s rest is critical to performing well both physically and mentally. Try some of the above tips and see which techniques help you discover how to sleep better. They won’t all work for everyone, but there are sure to be a few that will help you get a great night’s sleep—and faster than before!
Sources for Today’s Article:
“7 Bedtime Behaviors that Will Help You Sleep,” Health web site; http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20462696,00.html, last accessed March 10, 2016.
“Unable to Sleep? Eleven Ways You Can Trick Yourself into Dozing Off,” Mirror web site; http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/unable-sleep-eleven-ways-you-2300449, last accessed March 10, 2016.
“Healthy Sleep Tips,” Sleep Foundation web site; https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips, last accessed March 10, 2016.
“How to Sleep Better,” Help Guide web site; http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm, last accessed March 10, 2016.
“How to Get to Sleep: Eight Surprising Tricks and Tips,” The Telegraph web site; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11582617/How-to-get-to-sleep-eight-surprising-tricks-and-tips.html, last accessed March 10, 2016.
“13 All-Natural Ways to Fall Asleep Faster,” Huffington Post web site; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/27/natural-sleep-aids_n_3882229.html, last accessed March 10, 2016.
“1 in 3 Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site; http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html, last accessed March 10, 2016.