Tips For Falling Asleep And Staying Asleep
Have you been sleeping less than you should? Do you spend most nights tossing and turning in bed, and entertaining the million and one thoughts running through your head? You’re not alone. The average American sleeps less than 7 hours every night. What gives? It doesn’t matter what you blame. Whether it’s crazy work schedules or noisier neighborhoods, there’s no changing the fact that we have become a society of the heavily sleep deprived.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should be sleeping seven to nine hours every day. If you’re sleeping well below this figure, it’s time to get some help. Here are some ways to fall asleep.
* Exercise. Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Daily physical activity helps people sleep better, though a workout just before bedtime may disrupt sleep rather than promote it. For maximum effect, exercise five to six hours before bedtime.
* Relax. Just before bedtime, do something that relaxes your body and mind. Read a book, take a short leisurely walk around the block, or read. Make these relaxing activities a bedtime ritual of sorts. In time, your brain will associate these relaxing activities with sleep.
* Don’t lie awake. If sleeping is impossible, don’t stay in bed with your eyes open. Get up and do something. Watch television, read, or listen to music and keep doing it until you’re tired. Forcing yourself to sleep won’t work. The more you force yourself, the more difficult falling asleep will be.
* Keep your room’s temperature comfortable. Extreme temperatures do two things: keep you from going to sleep or interrupt your sleep. Either way, you will end up tired the next day.
* Sleep until the sun is up. If it’s possible for you at all, sleep until the sun is up. This is not an old wife’s tale. There really is something beneficial to waking up with the sun. Sunlight helps your body’s biological clock reset itself daily. Experts recommend sunlight exposure of an hour. Be sure to go out sufficiently protected, though. Don’t forget to wear a hat and slap on some sunscreen.
* Avoid medicines that keep you up. Some of the commonly prescribed medications for asthma, blood pressure, or heart ailments disrupt sleep. If your medicine has been keeping you up, tell your doctor about it. You may be given alternative medication.
These are only some of the ways to fall asleep. There are, of course, more that you can try. Take the time to observe what strategies work for you and what strategies don’t.
Many people think of sleep as a down time, when the brain has to shut off and the body has to rest. This is not the case at all. Even while you sleep, your brain remains active and you benefit from the processes that occur during certain sleep stages. For instance, some stages help you feel energetic and well-rested the next day. Other stages help you make memories or learn new things. Don’t miss out on important sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, look for ways to fall asleep. Your health is worth it.