Sleep is one of the most important processes your body undergoes. Without a good night of sleep, you can feel cranky, irritable, unfocused, and exhausted. But it actually gets worse than that. Poor sleep can lead to a reduced immune system, poorer general health, and even heart disease if it’s frequent enough.
It’s time to say enough is enough. If you struggle to find sleep, there are ways to naturally ease yourself into a peaceful slumber that has you waking up refreshed and ready to face the day. So, instead of chasing the pillow all night, try out these tips instead.
Consider a new mattress
One problem many people have without even realizing it is that their mattress is unsupportive. Having a mattress that’s too stiff or too soft can lead to back and neck pain, but it can also mean your body never really settles into a position where it’s comfortable enough to sleep.
Here are a few points to consider if you’re thinking of getting a new mattress:
- Mattresses should be firm enough to support your back and bones, but not so stiff you can’t get comfy.
- A cooling memory foam mattress can help you sleep if you often wake up hot and sweaty at night.
- Box spring mattresses can be a good option for those who need springier support.
- Hybrid mattresses are often the most expensive option, but also the longest lasting.
Be sure your pillows are comfy too. An overly flat or poor-quality pillow is often a primary cause for poor sleep habits.
Make a nightly routine
Having a nightly routine is one of the best ways to start sleeping well on a consistent basis. When you perform your nightly routine, it signals to your body that it’s time to enter its restful mode. So, a nightly routine should be some thing calming, relaxing, and tranquil. Here are a few examples:
- Try reading for an hour before you get into bed.
- Listen to calming music as you wind down during the evening.
- Take a hot shower.
- Take a luxurious bath.
- Spend a few minutes journaling before getting into bed.
Whatever your nightly routine, doing it consistently is the key to having it translate into better sleep. All nightly routines are not the same, too. Reading can help you relax, but watching TV might agitate your mind. That brings us to our next suggestion.
Switch off screens
The harsh blue light from screens as well as the constant flickering images of videos and TV shows both activate parts of your brain that are best used during ordinary waking hours. Blue light in particular is problematic; the sun is the main source of blue light you encounter during the day, so exposing your eyes to blue light from screens at night tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime. That puts it in an alert state, rather than lulling it into sleep.
Ideally, you should turn off all screens an hour before you get into bed. If you can’t, however, for whatever reason, it’s probably worth it to invest in blue light filtering glasses. They will at least keep most of the harsh light from activating the waking part of your brain.
Calm your mind
Many people struggle to sleep because they are stressed out during the day. If your mind is constantly in panic-mode, when you lay down to sleep, your subconscious is let loose to stress out as much as it likes.
That means that finding ways to manage stress during the day can actually be one of the most effective ways to sleep better at night. Whether you try meditation, yoga, frequent exercise, or even seek professional counseling, it’s finding a way to reduce your daily stress will definitely have a positive impact on your sleep schedule.
Try out a natural sleep aid
Lastly, if all else fails, it may be worth talking to your doctor about starting a natural sleep aid. Melatonin, for instance, is a chemical naturally produced by your brain. Some people who have severe sleep disorders may be unable to produce enough melatonin on their own, and so can benefit from using a supplement nightly before bed.
However, it’s smart to try the simpler and more natural solutions before opting for a supplement. Try out some of the items on this list, and your sleep may improve significantly in the weeks to come!