Having a little trouble getting enough zzz’s? It’s not uncommon for adults to go through periods of insomnia at several different times during their lifetime. Lack of sleep causes difficulty concentrating, exhaustion and a general feeling of discomfort. In extremes, lack of sleep can also be dangerous – causing car and work accidents. But, luckily, there are ways to get your sleep back on track – often without resorting to over the counter or prescription drugs.
Here are six tricks you can try to help you get back to getting a good night’s sleep.
Keep a regular schedule
Waking and going to bed at the same time each day can help keep your body in a rhythm that can improve your sleep habits. By going to bed and waking at the same time each day, you’re teaching your body when its time to sleep.
Eliminate distractions from the bedroom.
Most sleep experts recommend that the bedroom be used for sleeping and lovemaking only. Activities like reading and watching television in bed actually prevent your body from becoming ready for sleep when you get into bed.
Watch what – and when- you eat
Eating heavy meals too close to bedtime can interrupt sleep. If you stop eating 3 hours before going to bed, you’ll improve your sleep – and likely your waistline too, since you’ll give your body more time to burn off calories before going to sleep. In addition, avoid spicy foods in the evening as they may cause stomach discomfort or heartburn at bedtime. In addition, avoid caffeinated drinks in the evening, as they may cause lack of sleep. Alcohol has a similar effect on some people.
Make the room comfortable
Too many lights in and around the bedroom can cause difficulty sleeping. Investing in some blackout shades might be in order. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature for sleeping. For most people, this is a little cooler than the normal waking temperature. Being too hot can cause fitful sleep. In addition, make certain you’re sleeping on a supportive, yet comfortable mattress, and using comfortable pillows.
Don’t toss and turn
If you’re unable to sleep, get up and do something. Watch television or read in a room other than the bedroom until you feel ready to fall asleep. You’ll likely find that you get sleepy faster if you’re up doing something than if you’re lying in bed watching the clock.
Reduce the fluid
Many people find that they often wake in the night to go to the bathroom. This is fine, unless you find it difficult to get back to sleep after going to the bathroom. If so, reduce the liquid you take in after dinner to avoid having to visit the bathroom during the night.
If you’ve tried all these tricks and you’re still having trouble sleeping, you may need to see your doctor. For most people, insomnia can be short lived if given some simple attention. Even if you have to resort to prescription sleep aids, it will likely be only for a short period of time, until your sleeping rhythms are back in order. So, don’t be afraid to take action. After all, everyone deserves a good night’s sleep.