Improve Your Sleep Without Pills
Sleep is a major problem for plenty of people these days, with financial problems and general stress leaving many of us tossing and turning well into the early hours of the morning. If you’ve suffered with insomnia for years, it may feel like medication is the only solution to your problem. Sadly, medication can worsen insomnia in the long run and come with a variety of unpleasant side effects that you may want to avoid. Here are some simple ways to improve the quality of your sleep without resorting to pills.
- Get into a routine. Developing a soothing bedtime routine works as well on adults as it does on children. Allowing your body and mind to wind down will help make the transition to sleep far more peaceful, so draw yourself a relaxing bath with lavender oil, read a book or sit and meditate for a while before bed. Try to move your regular workout to the morning instead of working up a sweat before bed- avoid any adrenaline-pumping activities that will wake you up rather than helping you to sleep.
- Switch off your phone. Staring at a screen can make it more difficult for your brain to understand that it’s time for bed, so resist the urge to lie in bed checking your social media pages at night. Turn off any phones, laptops and tablets and take part in your relaxing routine instead.
- Don’t watch the clock. We’ve all experienced that sensation of panic when you can’t fall asleep and turn over to see that it’s suddenly 4 am. Turn your clock around so that you can’t see time- worrying about how late it’s getting will only increase your anxiety and stress, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Avoid afternoon naps. Refreshing as they may feel, afternoon naps may be destroying your sleep in the evening. If you do feel the urge to nap, try to do it as early in the day as possible. Power through the afternoon and you should be tired enough to fall asleep once the sun goes down.
- Create a soothing sleeping environment. Your room should feel like a relaxing sanctuary, so eliminate excess light, noise and distractions in the bedroom. Try not to keep your computer or TV in your room- program yourself to see the bedroom as solely for sleeping and intimacy with your partner. If you struggle with excess light in your room then you may want to consider investing in blackout blinds to help block out the sun. Noise from outside can also be eliminated with noise cancelling headphones or simple earplugs.
- If all else fails, get up. If you’ve been lying in bed for some time and still don’t feel like sleep is within reach, get up and do something else for 20 minutes or so. Lying awake can leave you feeling more and more frustrated as the time progresses, but getting up and reading or taking a bath and then getting back into bed again will give you another shot at falling asleep more easily.