There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning during the night and watching the hours pass without any shuteye. After one night of no sleep, you’ll feel unrested and a little irritable — and if your poor sleep hygiene becomes a habit, eventually, you’ll feel entirely run down and fatigued all the time. Getting the proper amount of sleep each night plays an important role in how your mind and body function throughout the day.
So what is keeping you up at night? To resolve your sleep trouble, you need to troubleshoot how you can calm the racing mind when it is time for bed. Some tried, and true methods include:
- Following a straightforward bedtime routine
- Creating a relaxing atmosphere
- Monitoring your eating and drinking
- Limiting “screen time” before bed
- Staying physically active
While you need to figure out what may be keeping you up at night, these tactics from ApneaMed will help you settle your mind and body — hopefully allowing you to get the much-needed sleep you crave.
Follow a Clear Bedtime Routine
Growing up, we all had strict bedtime routines. Some nights you may find yourself in bed watching TV until 2 AM, while other nights, you fall asleep on the couch right after dinner. But as we got older, our parents got more relaxed with our bedtime routines, and eventually, you could decide your own.
Instead, you should be following a clear sleep schedule to help your body adjust and recognize when it is time to get some much-needed shuteye. Going to bed at different times every night makes your body’s circadian cycle hard to keep up with.
Set a time for yourself to begin your nighttime routine so you’re in bed at a regular hour. Along with going to bed at the same time, it’s recommended that you wake up at the same time each morning — including weekends. Doing so helps your brain get accustomed to a routine, allowing it to shut off when it is time to sleep.
Create a Relaxing Atmosphere
If you are surrounded by chaos or clutter, you may have a hard time shutting off your mind and falling asleep. Along with having a quiet space, it is recommended that you turn down your thermostat, so your bedroom is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit — an optimal temperature to promote restful slumber.
You may also consider using aromatherapy if you’re feeling particularly stressed out. The scent of lavender can improve sleep by helping to calm your heart rate, blood pressure, and mood.
Monitor Your Eating & Drinking
This one doesn’t usually come as a surprise, but what (and when!) eating and drinking can cause you to have poor sleep. By being mindful of your eating and drinking habits, you’ll improve your chances of reaching deep sleep.
Try setting a regular time for dinner each night that allows you to digest before bed but isn’t too early that you wake up hungry in the middle of the night. It is also recommended that you avoid foods or drinks high in sugar or caffeine in the evening as it can keep you wide awake when trying to fall asleep.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
Electronic devices before bed can disrupt your body’s melatonin production and result in poor sleep. Instead, you should stop using all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed. This includes using your cellphone, watching TV, browsing on your computer, or any other electronic device. At a minimum, you should stop using these devices 30 minutes before bed, but two hours prior would be ideal for optimal sleep.
To make this easier, you may want to keep your cell phone out of the bedroom so you don’t turn to it if you have difficulty falling asleep.
Stay Physically Active
We all know that exercise plays a vital role in keeping us physically and mentally healthy. But did you know that it can also play a role in your sleep quality? By getting some exercise during the day, your body is more likely to feel tired at the end of the night — helping you fall into a deeper sleep more quickly.
Your exercise can be as simple as a walk around the block or as complex as training for a triathlon. Find an activity you enjoy so you look forward to it every day.
Still, Struggling to Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s sleep, take ApneaMed’s home sleep study to test for obstructive sleep apnea. A board-certified sleep physician will review your results and provide a recommended treatment plan. ApneaMed can supply the breathing machine you need. Contact us today.