Everyone has trouble sleeping sometimes. Many things can cause a person to have difficulty sleeping such as stress, anxiety, a change in routine, chemical changes in the body, certain medications, and a whole host of other things.
But, going too many nights without a decent night’s sleep can avalanche into a number of other problems: poor performance at work, irritability with your family and friends, trouble concentrating, and getting sick due to a weakened immune system.
The bottom line is that getting a good night’s sleep is better for your body, your mind, and everyone around you.
Tips For Getting a Better Night’s Sleep
- Avoid Drinking Caffeine In the Afternoon: This may sound like common sense, but oftentimes, people are programmed to have caffeine in the morning, after lunch and dinner, and even before bedtime.For some people, caffeine has no effect on them and they can drink it freely whenever they want.
For others, they are extremely sensitive to the effects of caffeine and have to be careful as to what time they drink it. Instead of having your normal coffee after lunch, try decaf coffee or caffeine-free tea. Limit your intake of soda and chocolate as well. It’s good for your overall health, as well as your sleep.
- Exercise: Studies show that regular exercise leads to better sleep. One reason is that your body burns calories and fuel when it works out, so come bed time, it is tired and ready for rest.Going for a quick jog after work or an afternoon trip to the gym can have an enormous, positive impact on your sleep. And exercising allows your body and your brain to get rid of stress naturally. Ridding your mind of stress will certainly help you to sleep better.
- Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating food that is healthy for you, including fruits, vegetables, protein, and good carbs is good for your entire body. That includes your body’s ability to sleep well. Foods that are high in fat and sugar take longer for your body to process and can lead to restlessness.
- Watch What Times You Eat: Maybe when you were younger, you could eat or drink anything at any time of the day or night and simply drift off to sleep whenever you wanted. That is not the case as you get older. Certain foods start to affect you differently.For example, a large pasta dish with tomato sauce for dinner can cause indigestion, or bloating. Having this type of meal before bed may potentially cause sleeplessness. Research indicates that adults should avoid eating anything at least two hours before going to bed.
- Limit Your Alcohol Intake: Again, when you were young, you could drink with the best of them and have no trouble falling asleep (or passing out). Things with your body change as you age. Having alcohol in the evening can certainly mess with your body’s natural rhythms.It slows metabolism and can affect brain function. And if you do fall asleep quickly after a night of drinking, it is likely you will wake up during the night or have a difficult time in the morning.
- Don’t Fall Asleep with the TV: Although many people are in the habit of doing this and claim they cannot fall asleep without the TV on, studies show that falling asleep without the light and noise of the television is much better for your quality of sleep.
- Avoid Checking Your Computer or Cell Phone Right Before Bed: In today’s world, almost everyone is connected constantly to mobile devices. Sending and receiving emails at all times of the day and night are not uncommon. But this can be detrimental to your mental health and your ability to sleep.It can only add stress—right before you plan on going to bed. That does not help anybody. Once you know what time you are going to bed, put the phone away, wind down with a book or some quiet time with your family. Easier said than done, but it will definitely help you sleep better.
- Talk to Your Doctor: Sometimes you do all the right things and still have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Talk to your doctor about this. There are many things he or she can recommend that may help you.There are natural, over-the-counter remedies to try, as well as prescription medicine that may be helpful. Before you begin any course of herbal supplement or over-the-counter sleep aids, consult with your doctor.