In these modern times people stuff their bedrooms with too many gadgets and electronic accessories. Strip your bedroom of these and allocate it a sanctuary. Don’t spend time in your bedroom in the day working on the computer or lying in bed watching TV. Do this elsewhere, even if you have to go to a cafe or a library to work. Your mind goes to stimulation (TV, games console etc) or work (computer) modes when you enter your bedroom. You want to set it aside, in your head, as a calming place.
Putting yourself to sleep with the TV or radio is a terrible mistake. Hearing is the last sense to ‘rest’ when we fall asleep (you can still hear voices when you’re asleep). That TV or radio is probably the reason you wake up so often.
Make sure your mattress is comfortable. You don’t have to splash out on a new one if you can’t afford it. Large stores do memory-foam mattress toppers which you buy as a roll to lay on top of your old mattress. The difference is remarkable.
Finally, make sure the things you can see while lying in bed are pleasant and calming. For instance, don’t have a stack of ironing piled at the foot of your bed.
Make a ‘To Do’ list for a good night's sleep
If you’re the kind of person who gets brilliant ideas, or is plagued with worry about the things you have to do when your head hits the pillow, you need a notebook. Keep a writing pad on your night stand and write down things that pop into your head. Sometimes we stay awake because we’re afraid we won’t remember the ‘to do’ thoughts when we wake up. Writing them down takes away the stress of remembering. Forget the nagging thoughts and let yourself relax and go to sleep.
Watch what you drink for a good night's sleep
Many people like to have a bedtime drink. This is not such a good idea because it means you have to wake up to go to the toilet. Always avoid coffees and teas in the hours leading up to bedtime. These are all stimulants and have no place in your bedtime routine if you have a problem sleeping. Alcohol is definitely a stimulant you should stay away from at bedtime. It may (or may not) help you go to sleep initially, but as soon as it wears off, you’ll wake up feeling worse for wear. Alcohol also does long term damage to your health, so it’s never something to be used as a sleep aid.
Avoid evening drinks altogether. If you must have a drink, have a small amount of water or milk or soothing herbal tea.
Get daytime activity for a good night's sleep
Many people who have trouble sleeping live very sedentary lives. They do no physical activity or active work all through the day. This means that come bed time, they’re simply not tired. If you’re not tired, you simply cannot go to sleep. Make sure you have regular exercise during the day. However, don’t plan to have a work out just hours before bed. You won’t get to sleep because the body has to have enough time to wind down and become tired.
Sort the kids before you settle yourself
If you have kids who are very active at bedtime, it means that you’re wound up and may not have enough time to relax into your own bedtime routine.
Take time to settle the kids yourself. Try the above remedies for them too, and establish a very separate bedtime routine so it’s evident to them that they’re preparing to go to bed. Do not get involved in stimulating activities with them. Choose instead, to read a book, give them a bath etc. It’s a mistake to think that giving them their personal TV will help them get to sleep. This does the opposite, and frankly, you’re grooming them for a future of sleeplessness (the same as you’re experiencing). Work out practical ways (like the above) to help them fall asleep the way nature intended - tired, feeling safe and contended. After they have, it’s possible that you will too.
Important: getting a good night's sleep
After doing all of the above, you’re ready for the slam dunk. Now it’s time to start a new chapter by active involvement. This is only applicable (and will only work) if you’ve taken care of previous steps described above.
- First of all, set your alarm to sound an hour earlier than usual.
- Go to bed two hours later than usual. Pick a pass time you would like do before bed whether it's reading in bed or watching TV downstairs etc. Prepare fully for bed before you start this 'activity'. This helps you to lie down only when you're ready to fall asleep.
- Turn off all your lights and close the bedroom door.
- If you wake up before the alarm goes, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning. You may have had enough sleep for that night. Get up, come downstairs and separate yourself from your bed. The bedroom has to be where you relax, not where you toss and turn miserably.
- After seven days, go to bed half an hour earlier.
- Repeat every seven days with half an hour increments each week. This means that after 4 weeks you’ll be going to bed at your original time. By then you should be sleeping through the night until the alarm goes (when you wake up and get up).
- Once your original bed time comes back around in full circle, you can set your alarm to come on ten minutes later every week, until a desirable time is reached.
It will obviously take a period of time, but this exercise is sure to work as long as you stick with it.
If you feel you’ve benefited from '5 best ways to have a good night's sleep', please feel free to share it on your favourite networking sites, and with someone you think may need it. Thank you. There are some other helpful lifestyle and health articles on this site you'll definitely benefit from.