Do you regularly struggle to sleep well? If you do, you know that not getting enough good sleep leaves you sluggish and worn out, but did you also know that poor sleep is linked to a wide range of ailments from mental health issues all the way to life altering issues like heart disease and infertility.
Having a poor night’s sleep from time to time shouldn’t be a health risk if you’re otherwise healthy, but long periods of poor or disrupted sleep can put your health at risk if it continues long term.
Thankfully though, there are lots of things you can do to sleep better by just making slight environmental or lifestyle changes and we discuss them below, so if you’re struggling with sleep read ahead.
Keep to a schedule
The human body works best when it has routine and structure, keeping to a routine allows your body clock to sync up with your schedule and you’ll find after a while of keeping a routine your body will also follow it, for example, if you always have lunch at 1 pm, your body will start sending you hunger signals around that time.
With sleep this is no different, by going to bed at a set time every night and waking up at a set time each morning will get your body adjusted to that sleep pattern and make it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up. The odd late night or lay-in in the morning shouldn’t be too disruptive, but try to keep your routine and avoid consecutive days of breaking your routine as they’ll disrupt your sleep schedule.
Keep your bedroom dark
It’s widely known that our bodies sleep easier when it’s dark, this is because of the way our bodies work, exposure to sunlight makes our bodies produce chemicals that wake us up and a lack of light causes our bodies to produce melatonin which is an essential chemical for helping us sleep.
So if your bedroom isn’t dark, it’s likely your sleep struggles are caused by too much light, whether it’s from outside sources like streetlights or light seeping into your room from other areas of your home. If the light is coming from outside, you should replace your blinds with blackout double roller blinds, and if it’s light from inside your home, turn it off. This will create a better sleep environment and you’ll fall asleep a lot easier each night!
Burn your excess energy
Another reason you may be sleeping poorly is that you simply have too much energy left in your body and you’re not tired, this is very common in people who live sedentary lives, so if you’re a couch potato and struggle to sleep this may very well be the cause.
To avoid restless nights, you’ll want to burn off some of your excess energy before getting into bed, just going for a quick run around the block or doing a few sets of pushups about 2 hours before bed will help burn off that energy and have you ready to sleep when bedtime comes around. Make sure to exercise at least 1-2 hours before bed to allow your body to cool down.
Trick your body into sleeping
Finally, if none of these other tips have helped you sleep easier, you can always try to trick your body into falling asleep. Part of the process of falling asleep is that your body temperature steadily drops as you fall asleep, by using this to your advantage you can hack your body and trick yourself into sleeping!
The best way to do this is by having a warm bath or shower before getting into bed, as you get out of the hot bath or shower your body will have a high temperature which will steadily drop off, if you get into bed while your body is still cooling, your body will take this as a signal to sleep and start the process of sleep. So you can use a warm shower to get your body cooling down ready for sleep.