A recent survey suggests that 35% of US adults don’t get enough sleep. There are several reasons why people might struggle to sleep, but often, there are simple solutions. Small changes can make a big difference. In this informative guide, we’ll explore some self-help techniques for better sleep.
Increasing Activity Levels
Globally, a third of women and a quarter of men don’t do enough exercise to stay healthy, according to the World Health Organization. Health experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Increasing activity levels offers an array of benefits for physical and mental well-being. Regular exercise reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. It also lowers the risk of anxiety, depression and stress and it boosts sleep quality.
If you’re not an active person, try to up your activity levels. Start small. Simple steps like setting a daily steps target, or using the stairs instead of the elevator and walking to the local store instead of driving can help you to build up your fitness gradually. Wearing an activity tracker is a great way to motivate yourself and monitor daily and weekly progress. Try a range of activities.
You can get fit, improve sleep quality and boost your mental health by walking, jogging, dancing, cycling, swimming or doing activities like yoga, kayaking, hiking, climbing, trampolining or playing football, tennis or golf.
Investing In A High-Quality Mattress
Comfort should be a priority for everyone when it comes to choosing a mattress. If you’ve had your mattress for decades, or you can’t get comfortable, it’s hugely beneficial to think about buying a new mattress. Get tips from a mattress blog, read articles and guides, seek advice if you have specific concerns, such as back pain, and try different mattress types before you buy.
Look for brands that have an excellent reputation and focus on products that cater to your requirements and preferences. Some people prefer a hard mattress while others want more give, for example. Technology has become more advanced, and modern mattresses often boast innovative features that are designed to enhance the sleeping experience. If you get too hot when you sleep, for example, choose a product that has climate control.
As well as investing in a high-quality mattress, it’s also important to replace your pillows every 1-2 years to provide support for your neck and shoulders.
A study by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that over 40% of 16-64-year-olds have experienced sleepless nights due to stress. Stress affects all of us, but there is a difference between mild stress and stress that overwhelms you. Try to manage stress as best you can.
Exercise frequently, meditate, talk about how you feel, socialize with people who make you happy, eat well, spend time outdoors and devote time to your hobbies. Sleep troubles and stress can form components of a vicious cycle. If you can’t sleep, your stress levels will increase. If your stress levels soar, you’ll find it harder to sleep.
If you’re struggling to keep stress under control, seek advice from your doctor. It’s beneficial to tackle signs of severe stress as early as possible.
Establishing A Daily Routine
Sleep routines are usually associated with small children, but it’s helpful for everybody to have a regime. If you go to bed at the same time every night and your alarm goes off at the same time every morning, your body clock will adjust, enabling you to get enough sleep. Adults should get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. If you fall asleep in front of the TV in the evening, or you find it impossible to get up in the morning, getting into a routine could have a dramatic impact on your sleep patterns.
If you get up for work at 6.30 am, try to ensure that you’re in bed by 11 pm. Use the time before you go to bed to unwind and relax. Watch TV, chat with your partner, read a book or a magazine, enjoy a soak in the bath or listen to music. Avoid caffeine, try not to eat heavy meals late at night and steer clear of devices. If you find yourself getting into bed and checking emails or scrolling through social media apps, don’t take your phone into the bedroom.
Creating A Serene Sanctuary
The environment around us can impact sleep quality and behaviours. Try to ensure that your bedroom is a serene sanctuary, which makes you feel calm and content. Ideally, you should feel your heart rate slow and your shoulders relax as soon as you walk through the door. Use colour carefully. Set the tone with neutrals or shades of blue, purple or green and avoid garish prints and bright colours.
Opt for soft lighting and use cushions, throws, blankets and rugs to add cosiness. Block out the light with thick curtains or blackout blinds and keep your bedroom tidy and clutter-free. Make your bedroom a tech-free zone. If there are flashing lights or beeping noises to contend with, you may find it hard to get to sleep.
The temperature of the room is another important consideration. Most of us find it difficult to sleep if it’s too hot, but it can also be uncomfortable if it’s too cold. Set a thermostat to regulate the temperature. Most people like to have their bedroom temperature set at 18°-19° celsius. In the summer, it’s beneficial to use fans or fit an air conditioning unit to keep cool. You can also swap heavy-duty bedding for lightweight quilts made from natural fabrics.
A lack of sleep can make you feel sluggish, irritable and dazed. If you find it hard to sleep, or you can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling alert and refreshed, try these self-help techniques. Increase your activity levels, create a serene sleeping environment, get into a routine and invest in a comfortable mattress. Try to manage stress and take time to relax and wind down before you go to bed. If these solutions don’t help, seek advice from your doctor.