Sleep is essential. With a good night’s sleep people wake up refreshed and ready to get what they need to get done each day. Unfortunately, sleeping problems are common, particularly as people age. Lack of sleep can make it hard to concentrate. A person who does not get enough sleep may also be at greater risk for many diseases. If you are facing problems falling asleep or staying asleep, you know all too well the frustrations you may feel if you cannot get the sleep you really need. Fortunately, there are many kinds of solutions that will help you address your problems. Scientists and other medical experts have discovered many ways that people can use to overcome their sleep issues and emerge rested and relaxed every time they wake up.
Keep Your Diary
The first thing you should do is keep a sleep diary. This diary should be focused on when you feel your most awake and when you feel sleepy. Most people have an internal sleep rhythm. You need to know yours. You might have a vague inkling if you’re more of a morning person or a night owl, but it isn’t necessarily accurate. A diary can help further pinpoint your own sleeping schedule in more detail. You can then determine your own personal sleeping schedule and consider making adjustments to it.
Examine Your Bedroom
Most people have a specific place they sleep. Your bedroom should be reserved for sex and sleeping only. This is not the place to eat or watch television or even have long conversations. To that end, consider removing any television in the room. Your bedroom should be your refuge from the rest of the world. Look for bedding that invites you inside the room. Your bedroom should make you think of sleep the second you step inside. Soft bedding in a comfortable fabric can facilitate the process of falling asleep. Remove all your electronic devices such as your phone and your laptop. Nothing should disturb you during the night.
Food at Night
Don’t keep any food in your bedroom either. Keep your refrigerator in the kitchen – that includes mini refrigerators. Eating late at night can also cause digestion problems that may interfere with your sleep. Avoid the temptation to snack and if possible, avoid large meals within two or three hours of your bedtime. Acid can build up in the stomach when you are lying down and cause serious discomfort that may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Heavy meat may cause problems and settle in your stomach, necessitating a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If you feel hungry, consider lighter foods that are easier to digest.
The Use of Light
Another factor that may influence your sleeping cycle is that of light and darkness. Most people need to have a sleeping area that is as dark as possible. This primes the body to be more aware of outside cues, which can help them to fall asleep. You want to reduce the amount of light in your bedroom to the bare minimum. Consider removing any overhead lights. Many people find blackout curtains are a great way to keep the room dark. An eye shade can also be helpful to further decrease the amount of light and help you sleep – especially in situations where it’s not possible to control the light around you.
Sound in the Bedroom
Sound can also reduce your ability to get to sleep. If you live on a busy street, consider choosing a bedroom as far away from the street as possible. Inexpensive and safe earplugs can also help block noise. A white noise machine can also help create a soothing interior space.
Getting a good night’s rest can set the tone for the next day. If you’re adjusting your settings and making an effort to rest well but are still unable to get a full night of sleep, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or sleep professional to evaluate other ways to get better sleep.