How to sleep better
Millions of people in the US alone are plagued by insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Whether you cannot fall asleep at night, cannot stay asleep, or just want deeper and more restful sleep, here are a few guidelines to dramatically improve your sleep.
Only go to bed when you are tired.
This is an extremely important rule. If you go to sleep when you are still wide awake, you will not only toss and turn for a good while before falling asleep, but you will damage your sleeping rhythm.
If it is at or past your bedtime and you are not tired, simply do something relaxing such as read a book, meditate, or anything that calms your mind down.
Do not eat within three hours of going to sleep.
After you eat a meal or a snack, your body takes time and energy to digest the food. This digestion is distracting to your body and mind while you are trying to fall asleep and will prevent you from getting restful sleep. Make sure your last meal was at least three hours before your bedtime.
Do not exercise within three hours of going to sleep.
When you exercise, chemicals are released throughout your body. As soon as the vigorous activity stops, your body works to digest and collect those chemicals from the bloodstream. Like digesting, if this is happening while you are trying to sleep or while you are sleeping, it will damage the quality and consistency of sleep.
Limit the things you do in bed.
Half of falling asleep is sending signals to your mind that it is time to sleep, and beds are made to do just that. If you eat, read, watch TV, or do other activities in bed, then your brain will not know when you are trying to fall asleep, leading to insomnia.
Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool while your bed is warm.
Studies show that people sleep better in a cool and dark room while the bed that they are in is warm. Adjusting the temperature to drop a few degrees at night is a great way to insure a better night’s sleep.
Do not take naps during the day.
Sleeping is all about setting up a schedule and following it. Naps destroy that schedule. No matter how tired you are, it is important not to fall asleep unless you are going to bed for the night. Once you have stopped taking naps and your sleeping schedule is established, the urge to take naps will go away.
Do not watch the clock
If you are lying in bed trying to fall asleep and you constantly watch the clock, you are only adding stress and worry which causes you to stay up longer. Avoid thinking about how tired you may be the next day or how hard it is for you to fall asleep. Simply relax and do the following exercise.
Try this sleeping exercise if you cannot fall asleep right away
First clear your mind of all thoughts, breathing in and out through your nose. Imagine a wave of relaxation washing over your body. First concentrate on relaxing your toes up your foot to your ankles, your calves and shins, your knees… and so on all the way up your body.
Make sure your only thoughts are on breathing and relaxing throughout this whole process. If you are not asleep by the time this is through or soon after, try counting back slowly from 300, focusing on your breathing the entire time.
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