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There are nights when I am so exhausted I fall asleep completely dressed. Then there are those nights when I can’t stop tossing and turning and staring at the clock. It’s frustrating watching the numbers on the clock fly by and the hours I have left to sleep quickly dwindle. Six hours. Five hours. Four hours. Three hours. Once morning comes, and I have somehow managed to fall asleep, my eyes are left swollen and my body completely sore. I don’t just want more sleep. I want better sleep. If you are struggling with falling asleep and staring at the clock too, try these seven sleeping tips, so you can start getting a good night’s rest.
1. Have a bed time. It might sound silly, but kids aren’t the only ones who need a bed time. Adults do too! Set a time and stick to it. This is the most important step because without following it, no other tip is going to help you sleep well.
2. Create a bedtime routine. If you have trouble sleeping, try a bedtime routine every single night. If your brain is always going like mine, it can be difficult to shut it off and fall asleep. A bedtime routine helps train your brain to recognize night and begin preparing for sleep.
3. Turn off the Electronics. With technology everywhere, it’s tempting to check Facebook or your e-mail before falling asleep. Just a quick look, right? Those quick looks might be the reason you are having trouble sleeping. It has been proven that the light from electronics tricks the brain into believing it is still daylight and prevents the brain from producing the sleeping aid melatonin.
4. Make your room a place for sleeping. Yes, a bed is essential, but your room should be a comfortable and relaxing space too. Hang blinds and curtains to keep out the rising sun, dial down the temperature so it is cool enough to breathe, and eliminate any stressors. That means you need to leave work outside the bedroom.
5. Exercise during the day. Exercise has so many benefits and one of the amazing ones, is it helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Just make sure you don’t exercise right before bed; it wakes up your mind and gets your blood pumping.
6. Try new sleeping positions. I have a confession; I sometimes snore. Whenever I sleep on my back, I wake myself up to some pretty strange noises coming from my throat. Besides the embarrassing aspect of snoring, it makes getting a good night’s sleep fairly difficult. After trying out some new sleeping positions, I have found sleeping on my stomach helps me sleep sounder without the snores. How do you sleep? Are you a belly, back, side sleeper, or something in-between?
7. No alcohol before bed. Alcohol might make you drowsy and feel ready for bed, but it disrupts your sleep throughout the night and will cause you to repeatedly wake up. If you drink continually before bed, you can lose slow-wave sleep and be troubled by nightmares and spurts of sleep.
The best thing you can do to start to sleep well is create a game plan. It might sound excessive, but write down your bed time, bed routine and sleeping goals. Identify your problem and attack it head-on. If you aren’t sure what the problem is, keep track of the hours of sleep you are getting and what you are doing directly before bed. This should help you narrow down the problem. Apply these seven sleeping tips today and see if you feel better rested tomorrow.
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