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Speaking from experience, there is nothing worse than a spell of poor sleep. Inadequate rest leads to impaired judgement, irritability, and an overwhelming blah feeling– in addition to a slew of other psychological complications. With my weight fluctuations over the past few years, I’ve gone through more periods of severe sleep deprivation than I’d ever care to remember. If insomnia keeps you from falling or staying asleep at night, you’re not alone. In the United States, approximately 70 million people are affected by at least one of its many symptoms, and an estimated 23.5 million experience symptoms consistent with the full diagnosis of chronic insomnia.
Since this is clearly a nationwide epidemic, the National Sleep Foundation, which is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy, was founded in 1990 and is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. Beyondtired.org is another great resource for helping insomnia sufferers get more sleep and inspiring them to share their stories. Beyondtired.org brings light to the journey of 4 busy and relatable individuals, all from different backgrounds, who are fighting varying degrees of sleep disorders, so it’s an eye-opening platform for gaining perspective into how widely spread the condition runs. Additionally, beyondtired.org provides an informative FAQ page with advice and answers to all “sleep hygiene” questions and topics.
Whether you’re a full-fledged insomniac or you experience sporadic tossing and turning a few nights a week, feeling beyond tired is never fun. Based on information provided by beyondtired.org, the National Sleep Foundation, and sleep.org, here are 10 tips for getting more sleep at night:
1. Find Peace
Practice a peaceful evening ritual. Doing a relaxing activity, such as reading, meditation, or yoga, before bed can help you wind down and mentally separate sleep from activities that cause excitement, stress, or anxiety and which make it more difficult to fall asleep, sleep soundly, and remain asleep.
2. Consume Carefully
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or heavy meals close to bedtime, as all of these substances can promote interrupted sleep. If you’re looking for natural supplements to enhance quality of sleep, consider giving Melatonin or Dream Water a try.
3. Tune Out the Noise
Turn off all your noisy electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets and TVs, and leave them out of the bedroom.
4. Keep Cool
Make sure that your bedroom or place of rest is dark, quiet, and cool– somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees– throughout the night.
5. Stay on Schedule
Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall and stay asleep for longer throughout the night.
6. No Afternoon Napping
Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even the shortest cat naps may be helpful.
7. Mattress Matters
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is relaxing and supportive, and be mindful of the fact that the trusty mattress you’ve been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy. Additionally, soft and cozy pillows make the room attractive, inviting, and free of nasty allergens.
8. Get Out of Bed
If you can’t fall asleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. The National Sleep Foundation recommends taking work materials, computers, and televisions out of the sleeping environment entirely– and as tempting as it may be to lay in bed all day, they recommend only using your bed for sleep.
9. Brighten Your Days
Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms. Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.
10. Get Moving
Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity at all. Physical activity has been proven to improve sleep quality, as well as add a little more pep in your step, causing you to wake up energized and seize the day with vitality. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep, as that would obviously be counterproductive.
Hope these tips help! If you experience regular or sporadic insomnia, remember that you’re not alone. Check out this clip of Jessica, a working mother of 2, who shares her struggles, documents her progress, and speaks with medical professionals on beyondtired.org:
If you have any other tips for getting more sleep at night, please leave them in the comments below! Happy snoozing!
I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the National Sleep Foundation. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.