For most of us, sleeping is a natural and effortless state. But even something as simple as sleeping that doesn’t require any action can be a difficult task in itself?
Many people have trouble falling asleep. Some trouble is caused by being unable to ease the mind and rest, others for experiencing various pains, and some for messing with their circadian rhythm.
But, just like with almost anything else, we can train our brains to rest and sleep. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve your goal.
Why We Need Sleep
It seems we do the most for ourselves when we don’t do anything at all. Our minds and bodies repair during sleep, which helps us increase our cognition, concentration, productivity, performance and even beauty. Indeed, even the youngest of us needs sleep.
Physically, it makes our metabolism work properly which makes us stay fit. It also helps us build muscles faster, regenerates our skin tonus and prevents excessive hair loss. On a psychological level, it stabilizes our emotions, promoting better judgment, helps develop skills and learn faster, and, generally, it can prevent some serious mental health issues.
Optimize You Sleep
It is not just the number of hours you’ve managed to spare for sleep, but the quality of that rest. Studies suggest that restless and interrupted sleep is worse than not sleeping at all. This is why you have to learn and master something as simple and rudimentary as sleeping.
- Maintain the same sleeping and waking pattern. Even if you don’t fall asleep and have a bad night, eventually, you will reprogram your brain to this pattern and it will start falling asleep by habit.
- If unable to fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and wear off this restlessness by doing something not too engaging that will help distract and relax you. Reading proves to do the trick.
- Have some time during the day be your time for worrying, and just like creating a sleeping schedule, do this with the time for resolving problems. It will help your brain to not worry during bedtime.
- Exercise is not stressed enough when it comes to health, brain function and sleep. Daily exercise during the day will do wonders for the quality of your sleep, just don’t practice it right before going to bed.
- The 4-7-8 breathing technique is found quite popular and helpful as well. Here, you’re supposed to inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven and exhale for 8 seconds.
- Ward off noise with white or pink noise machines. This will block out other noises that cause disturbance and emit soothing frequencies for deep sleep.
- Eliminate the light. This can be both the sunlight, four which you’ll need blackout curtains, or from the blue light from your electronic devices. You can change these with warm Edison light bulbs in your bedroom.
- Set the right temperature. A room too hot or too cold can also disrupt your sleep. You can install a smart thermostat or keep your room around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit in some other way.
- Invest in new bedding. Old cushions and mattresses can cause pain to your spine and make you tumble throughout the night.
This may do the trick for some, but sometimes a more strict and disciplined approach needs to step in and that is where many seek the benefits of a sleep coach. Also, medication might help temporarily, but in the long run, you still need to deal with what causes your insomnia.
Often, it is stress and rumination that keep us awake, some unresolved problems and remnants of past traumas you might not be aware of. In these cases, it is best to seek out help through psychotherapy which will help you recognize the problems haunting you and deal with them during the day.
Doing just one or all of these things will bring much benefit to your health and rest in any case, but still, be sure to check it with a doctor whom you can trust.