After a long day, your bed should be the perfect place to relax and refresh. Unfortunately, it’s not like that for everyone. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re probably always feeling tired and cranky, while your bed is the place where you collapse, hoping that you’ll finally get the rest you need.
But, no! Somehow, you end up tossing and turning because as soon as you turn off the light, your brain wants to take a tour of all the problems you’re currently facing in life. Counting sheep is futile. You already know that tomorrow you’ll be drinking all the coffee you can stomach just so you can speak in coherent sentences and avoid falling asleep at your desk.
Sleep is essential to your health, so not getting enough of it isn’t just frustrating. It will negatively impact every aspect of your life, from your cognitive function and mental health to your income potential and relationships. But what can you do to improve it? Glad you asked! Here’s what you need to do.
Stick to a Healthy Sleep Schedule
It’s important to maintain a consistent healthy sleep schedule because it regulates your circadian rhythm or internal clock. If you’re in the habit of staying up late on some nights, either going out or binge-watching a new series and then waking up late on the weekend, you’re more likely to have trouble falling asleep during the week.
Your circadian rhythm plays a big role in how easy it is for you to fall asleep. If you keep going to sleep and waking up at the same time, your body will adapt to this schedule and start releasing sleep-promoting hormones at the right time. In the beginning, you probably won’t like it very much. You’ll have to go to sleep when you don’t feel like it and wake up at the same time every day, even during the weekend when you usually like to sleep in.
But after a few weeks, you’ll start to see the benefits. You’ll be able to wake up just before the alarm goes off and you’ll feel refreshed. In the evening, you’ll actually manage to slip into a peaceful slumber instead of staring at the ceiling and trying to think happy thoughts as you’re glancing at the clock and realizing that you only have less than four hours until it’s time to get up. You’ll have to make some sacrifices, but it will be worth it.
Make Sure Your Bedroom Provides a Comfortable Sleep Environment
You won’t be able to sleep well in a noisy, bright room. Even if you don’t take that long to fall asleep, noise and light will interfere with your sleep cycles, so you’ll wake up feeling tired, groggy and grumpy. You need to make sure that your bedroom provides a comfortable sleep environment.
If there’s a lot of noise coming from outside, even when you close the windows, you can try switching to double-pane for better insulation. If that’s not a viable option, you can also add soundproofing inserts or panels to your existing windows. For the light, you can just get thick curtains that will also keep out some of the noise.
The next thing you should evaluate is your bed. Is your mattress comfortable? If the mattress is too firm or too saggy, your pillows are lumpy, or the fabric in the sheets makes you overheat, it will also interfere with your sleep cycles. You’ll keep moving in your sleep either to get into a comfortable position or to remove the sheets because you’re too hot and then pull them back on because you’re too cold.
We know that mattresses aren’t cheap, but you only have to change them every eight to ten years. You probably change your smartphone a lot more often than that. So go to a store and pick one that’s right for you. It’s worth the investment.
Get Comfortable Pajamas
After you’ve made sure that your mattress, pillows, and sheets are comfortable, you’ll want to get yourself some comfortable pajamas. Luckily, they’re a lot cheaper than a mattress. Just go on your favorite search engine and type in women’s pajamas Canada or whatever keywords apply to you, and you’re bound to find something that fits your preferences.
But first, let’s make sure you know what to look for. What matters most when choosing pajamas is how comfortable you feel in them. Of course, you also want them to look nice in them but never choose style over comfort. Wearing tight clothing at night has been shown to reduce melatonin output and disrupt the circadian rhythm.
You’ll also want to avoid buying pajamas with embellishments like buttons and snaps. They’ll make you uncomfortable while you’re sleeping, so you’ll keep moving and pulling yourself out of deep sleep.
When choosing the fabric, each has pros and cons. It all depends on what works best for you. For example, silk is excellent for thermoregulation so you won’t overheat, and it also looks very stylish, but some people dislike the slippery sensation, so they don’t feel comfortable.
Cotton is a very popular option since it’s soft and lightweight, but it’s not the best at moisture wicking. If you tend to sweat during the night, you can try fabrics designed specifically for this purpose.
Cut Back on Caffeine and Alcohol
If you’re always feeling tired, cutting back on caffeine may not sound particularly appealing. After all, it’s what gets you through the day. But caffeine is a stimulant. That’s why you feel more awake after you’ve had a cup of coffee. It works by blocking the receptors for adenosine which is a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter.
You’ll feel the effects after 15 to 20 minutes, and they’ll start to fade in about two or three hours. The problem is that even if you don’t feel the full effects anymore, it takes a long time for the caffeine in your system to get eliminated. This is why it’s recommended that you avoid it at least five or six hours before bedtime.
Alcohol is a different issue. It’s a depressant, so it will make you feel sleepy, which is why many people are tempted to have a drink or two when they have trouble falling asleep. But the problem is that even though this can help you fall asleep a little faster, alcohol will disturb sleep patterns and aggravate sleep disorders. You’ll still feel tired and drowsy in the morning.
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