It’s very common this time of year to suffer from slight bouts of insomnia. As the days are getting longer and its getting lighter earlier your body naturally wakes up earlier and as a result you’re left feeling tied by early afternoon. There are several things you can try to make sure you get the best nights sleep possible.
Get a regular sleep pattern
If you are feeling tied by the middle of the afternoon you need to make sure you don’t nap. This might be very hard especially if you’re at home in the afternoon but napping before your proper bed time is going to make it harder to drop off when you do go to bed.
You need to train your body when you’re going to sleep and when it needs to wake up so pick a sensible sleep routine and stick to it. Make sure you’re going to bed around the same time each night and that you’re getting up at the same time each morning even on weekends. It maybe very tempting to spend Sunday mornings lying in bed snoozing till noon but it means you’re going to struggle going to sleep that night and you’ll be tied all over again on Monday morning. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the odd Saturday night out with friends but try not to overdo it until you can trust your body to go to sleep and wake up when it’s meant to.
You might be used to your partners light snoring for most the year but if you’re finding you wake up easier than usual you might want to try and do something about it. You might find your own snoring is starting to wake you up too. If there is a snorer in your bed try to make sure they’re sleeping on their front or side, sleeping on the back increases the likelihood of snoring as the tissues in the neck can lightly obstruct the airway. If the snoring is simply caused by an obstruction of the nasal passages (with something like a cold) try some nasal strips to allow enough air through. Investing in some soft ear plugs could be enough to block out the worst of the snoring long enough to let you fall into a deep enough sleep. If the worst comes to the worst there’s always the sofa!
Exercise a couple of hours before bed
We all know that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and it’s assumed that exercising can leave you feeling tied enough to fall straight into a deep sleep. In reality your body is going to be swimming in endorphins once you’ve finished exercising giving you a natural high. Give your body chance to calm down and your muscles chance to cool down before you try to go to sleep. If you are exercising in the evening try and do it a few hours before your planning to go to bed this will give your body plenty of time to unwind and realise it is actually quite tied.
No caffeine, sugar or nicotine two hours before bed
We all love that first cup of coffee in the morning or that first cigarette on the way to work but caffeine, sugar and nicotine are all stimulants and will keep your body awake. Make sure you’re having your dinner a good couple of hours before you’re planning on going to bed and don’t snack throughout the evening. If you want a hot drink stick to something that’s caffeine free; something like chamomile tea would be great for helping you unwind. Smoking is one of the biggest contributing factors to insomnia so if you’re really struggling to get a good nights sleep it’s another good reason to try and kick the habit.
Unclutter the bedroom
You bedroom needs to be your sanctuary and your place of calm so make sure there’s nothing in there that’s going to get you worked up before you go to sleep. People who watch television right before the go to sleep will find it harder to drift off than those who just read. Keep the TV in the living room and find something relaxing you can do in the bedroom if you’re not used to simply crawling into bed and falling asleep. It’s not uncommon these days to have a computer in the bedroom and if you use it to work make sure it’s not in the bedroom if at all possible.
You also need your bedroom to be as tranquil as possible so try and keep it clean and tidy. If you have any dirty dishes in there make sure they’re left in the kitchen if you can’t be bothered to wash them up and put dirty clothes in the hamper. Try to change your bed sheets once a week so they’re clean and fresh as this will help you get a good nights sleep too.
Unclutter the mind
It doesn’t matter how peaceful and relaxed your environment is if your mind is jumbled and cluttered. If something is worrying you or you’re stressed about something you know you’ve got to do tomorrow write it down on a piece of paper and put that paper away. This will help put it out of mind and help you calm down. Try to get in the habit of having a quick back each night, use some soothing bath oils and physically let your body unwind and wash away the stress of the day. Find a peaceful activity you can do for half and hour before you’re due to go to sleep; reading or a puzzle book or even needle work. You need something that’s either repetitive and will make you naturally sleepy or something that will distract your mind from your day to day life.
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