Put Your Sleepless Nights to Rest
It’s no secret that a restful night of sleep is essential for a clear, productive mind…but when approximately half of adults 60 years and older suffer from insomnia, what can be done?
Without a restful night’s sleep, the next day can be chaotic and stressful, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get to sleep faster and to help foster a more relaxed lifestyle.
BE ACTIVE: BREAK MENTAL ASSOCIATIONS
Most people can relate to the frustration of laying in bed for 10, 15, even 20 minutes, trying to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night and staring at the ceiling for just as long. There are few things more miserable than wanting to fall asleep and being unable to so. Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire, says that if you find yourself awake for this long you should get out of bed and do something that engages both your mental and motor skills for about 10 minutes. By actively getting out of bed, you are stopping your mind from associating your bed with being awake.
SAY NO TO TECHNOLOGY!
The one thing Wiseman says not to do, though, is look at screens. It’s a lot easier said than done considering how most people keep their cell phones or even house phones in the bedroom and, often beside the bed. Backlit screens stimulate the mind and actual suppress melatonin which is what controls and regulates the sleep cycle. Not to mention they serve as potential sleep-disruption if you receive a message in the middle of the night. Additionally, hide your clock or — at the very least — turn it around so if you do wake up, you won’t be able to tell the time. We’ve all had those nights where we’ve literally watched time creep by, minute by minute. A watched pot never boils and the same can be said about trying to sleep as you’re watching the clock and the night slip away.
MAKE YOUR TO-DO LIST BEFORE GETTING IN BED
It’s not uncommon for people to stay up thinking of everything that needs to be done for the next day or even to wake up in the middle of the night, remembering something out of the blue. We strongly encourage taking a few minutes before bed to make a to-do list so that way you know when you wake up, it’ll be organized and ready for you to begin checking off. This is a lot easier and less stressful than trying to recall every last thing as you’re trying to fall asleep. Additionally, keep a small notepad and pen by your bedside table so that way if you do wake up, you won’t be worried about whether or not you’ll remember whatever prompted you awake in the first place. Writing things down and having a physical copy of them is a great way to reduce stress and promote a more relaxed thought process as you’re getting ready to sleep again.
TAKE A BREATH AND RELAX
Lastly, relax. Stress and anxiety are two big factors that may keep people awake at night. Change this around by creating an environment for yourself that’s conducive to both mental and physical relaxation. Take a shower before bed so that your muscles are relaxed or burn a candle ahead of time so that your room is filled with a calming scent like lavender to help clear your mind and deepen your breathing as you sleep. Last but not least, make sure your room is a comfortable temperature for you– not too hot nor too cold. When a person goes to sleep, their brain begins to cool their natural body temperature down which is why cooler rooms are easier to sleep in for most individuals as it’s already close to the body’s natural resting temperature.
Getting little to no sleep is nothing short of a nightmare but these tips can help you achieve a rejuvenating night of rest that’ll leave you prepared for morning.
What are some things you do to get help you get to sleep?