In today’s modern world sleep almost becomes an afterthought. We’re all so busy, and with so many distractions it’s quite easy to lose track of time and suddenly realize it’s past midnight and the alarm will go off in a few short hours. Of course, that realization alone can make it almost impossible to fall asleep.
With the demands of work, children, housekeeping, and all of the other tasks that go into a modern life, healthy sleep habits tend to take a back seat. This is extremely unfortunate as sleep affects every aspect of our waking lives. Without adequate sleep our work performance suffers, our reaction times when driving become slower, and our moods become increasingly unpredictable and erratic.
The human brain thrives on routine. When our brains know what to expect it can connect the dots, so to speak, and predict the next action. If we apply a proper routine to our sleep habits, our brains will quickly catch on and help us to fall asleep at a regular hour, and sleep more soundly through the night.
If you need to change up your bedtime routine and finally get the sleep you deserve, learn more with these helpful tips.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Parents know that a bedtime routine is important to successful childrearing. As bath time, teeth brushing, pajamas, and a story happen in succession, and in the same way every night, children learn to associate these actions with sleep. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be resistance, but it does help.
You can implement a similar strategy for your own, grown-up bedtime routine. Take a warm bath, read a book, practice meditation or some gentle yoga, then go to bed. As your brain and your body become accustomed to that routine you may find it easier to fall asleep.
Get Your Zen On
Imagine that you’re very tired. You climb into bed and get comfortable, switch off the light, and settle to sleep. But just as the light switches off your brain switches on. Your mind runs like a racehorse as you obsessively going over all of the details of your day, you wonder about tomorrow, and you may even start to think about what your dog would say to you, if he could talk.
The practice of meditation has been around for centuries, but in recent years it’s really become a widely recommended habit to reduce stress and help to clear the clutter in one’s mind. This can be especially helpful when it’s time to sleep.
Meditation doesn’t always come easily for many people. Like anything else it’s a skill that has to be mastered. Try guided meditation to get yourself started, and before you know it your distractions will melt away and you’ll get better sleep.
Prepare Your Bedroom
While you might think that adding items to your bedroom would only increase clutter and further distract you from sleeping, this might not always be the case. In the spirit of better sleep there are gadgets and pieces of furniture available that can help you meet your goals.
First, invest in a white-noise machine. Even if you don’t have neighbors with a barking dog or a partner that snores, the simple act of turning on the machine to your preferred sound can make you feel more relaxed. As you get used to the sound, you may find that you’re able to stay asleep longer, even if you’re used to waking up in the middle of the night.
Secondly, consider a new bed. Your ability to fall asleep may depend directly on the type of bed that you have. If it’s an older model that doesn’t provide proper support, the simple act of lying on it may trigger some anxiety that can prevent good sleep. Consider an adjustable bed and finally get sound sleep on a number bed. Also be sure to have comfortable bedding and pillows to help you make your way to dreamland.
Sounds sleep doesn’t have to be as elusive as a unicorn. Just like any other habit it requires time, patience, and dedication. Follow these tips and you could be well on your way to the best sleep of your life.