News Sep 20th 2013 @ 3:12 PM
Are you looking for safe, natural ways to fall asleep faster?
To sleep longer?
To wake up refreshed and rested?
In this article, we’ve summarized ten of the best tips and suggestions we’ve found.
If you have others, please share them with us!
Tip #1 - Keep the phone out of the bedroom
Smart phones are amazingly powerful pieces of technology. We can do almost anything with them, from talking to friends, checking email, surfing the web, etc.
Tablets and eBook readers are also blurring the lines between smart phones and computers.
But, when trying to fall asleep, it’s important to not only turn these devices off, but to keep them out of the room entirely.
Even reading on an eBook reader or tablet before sleep is not a good idea.
Because the light stimulation can trigger neurotransmitters in the brain which can excite us, making it more difficult to fall asleep afterwards.
Instead, keep the technology out of the room...and use paperbacks instead for your nighttime reading.
While you’re at it...get the television out of the room as well.
Tip #2 - Have a routine
Having a night time routine is very important. What that routine is really depends on you.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure your pre-sleep activities are relaxing, comforting, and soothing.
Tip #3 - Plan for tomorrow outside the bedroom
Let’s face it. We all have stresses and things to worry about.
Jobs, bosses, kids, bills, money, broken cars….the list seems endless.
Rather than lying in bed worrying about these things, try this instead.
Well before going to bed, say 2 hour before bedtime, spend 30 minutes “worrying” and planning for your day and week ahead.
Write out your agenda for tomorrow.
Note the key problems you will face tomorrow and the rest of the week.
Then, write down specific solutions and action items for these problems.
But once that time period is over, then it’s time to put the pen down and relax.
This exercise won’t eliminate your problems, but at least you’ll have a plan, so you can relax!
Tip #4 - Get out of the bedroom
We heard this tip from a friend and it just floored us. What a great idea.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, what should you do?
Many of us simply stay in bed, nice and warm, hoping that we’ll get back to sleep.
Unfortunately, our brains “turn on” and we start thinking, worrying, etc.
Before you know it, hours have passed and our mornings are off to a very poor start.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t fall back asleep after 10-20 minutes, then get up and leave the room.
That’s right. Leave the room.
Leave the room and do something calming, such as reading.
Just don’t read from a gadget, don’t watch television, and don’t snack.
Tip #5 - Food and Sleep
Speaking of snacking, eating a heavy meal before sleep is a great way to lose sleep.
There is a perfectly logical and biological explanation for this.
You see, when you eat, your body shunts a lot of blood and energy towards the intestines in order to process and digest that food.
This is fine when you’re awake.
But when you’re lying down trying to sleep, it can cause indigestion, bloating, and other disturbances which can wake you up...and keep you up.
Instead, keep your evening meal light, and 2-3 hours before bedtime.
A light snack is generally fine before bed.
Just stay away from anything that has caffeine, such as coffee, tea, colas, etc.
Also stay away from chocolate or other sweets, as they too can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Tip #6 - Take a trip down memory lane
When trying to fall asleep, take a trip!
The trip is simply a mental trip down a familiar street, or of a pleasant event.
Take a mental trip down the street where you grew up.
Or maybe a mental trip along the beach.
Just make sure you keep the trip positive and pleasant.
Tip #7 - Avoid sleeping pills
Sleeping pills should only be used for those diagnosed with chronic, debilitating insomnia.
Even then, these pills should only be used for short periods of time.
If you use them routinely, you body will become immune to their effects.
So guess what one of the leading side effects of sleeping pills is...insomnia!
If you feel like you must pop a pill, try a sublingual melatonin. But that’s it.
Tip #8 - Avoid naps during the day
There are a lot of experts out there saying a power nap in the middle of the day is a great way to be more energized in the afternoon.
That may be true.
But, if you get enough sleep at night, you should not need that power nap in the afternoon, regardless of how much lunch you have.
So, get into the habit of avoiding the afternoon naps, get more sleep at night, and rebalance your sleep patterns.
And stay away from the energy drinks!
Tip #9 - Exercise
Vigorous daily exercise is probably the best way to improve your sleep patterns quickly.
The key is vigorous.
Going for an afternoon walk might be pleasant, but to get more sleep, get into an exercise routine.
Running, cycling, swimming...these are ideal exercises for making your muscles tired, triggering their need to recover via sleep.
Of course, check with your doctor if you have any concerns about starting an exercise routine.
And, take it slow at first if you haven’t exercised in a long time.
You may also have the added benefit of losing some weight!
Tip #10 - Replace your pillow
Lots of mattress companies are trying to convince you that their thousand dollar mattresses will help you fall asleep faster, and with better sleep quality.
This may be true, but who wants to risk thousands of dollars on a mattress?
What if it doesn’t help?
We have a better idea.
Get a new pillow instead.
We happen to like the Chiroflow because
> It’s fully adjustable to your needs
> It’s clinically proven to reduce neck pain
> It’s a lot cheaper than a mattress!
There you have it.
These are 10 good tips for helping you fall asleep faster, and for staying asleep.
Have more ideas?