How to get some sleep
Knowing how to get some sleep is vitally important to your health and happinessYou pull back the covers and slip between cool sheets. You close your eyes, steady your breathing, and wait in the darkness for peace to envelope you. Unfortunately, there are nights when sleep is elusive. Your mind races, the neighbor’s dog barks, and suddenly you remember all the things that you meant to accomplish during the day--but never got around to doing.
Here are some useful tips for how to get some sleep when nothing else seems to help.
Get into a Routine
Research shows that getting into a sleep routine can “program” your body to anticipate your bedtime and to start winding down, which makes falling sleep easier. Plan on a set bedtime, and get to bed at the same time each night—both weekdays and weekends. Also consider implementing certain rituals to help prepare your mind and body for rest. Some people find that sleep rituals can help ease the transition from wake to sleep. Consider some warm milk, soothing music, or meditation to help wind down before bedtime.
What you wear to sleep can help, or hinder, your ability to sleep soundly. Itchy tags, scratchy lace, and straps that dig in can cause discomfort that can make sleep difficult. Choose sleepwear that is cozy and comforting in order to maximize your chances of getting to sleep. If you get cold feet at night, wear socks or try footed pajamas made for adults. If you don't like feeling tangled up, skip the nightgown and try a pair of sleep shorts.
Also consider the temperature of your bedroom. While a too warm room can be stifling, a chilly or drafty room can also rob you of much needed sleep. Most people sleep better with a room that is slightly cooler than their preferred daytime temperature. Wear the appropriate sleep attire for your bedroom climate. If you keep the thermostat very cool, go to bed in something heavier. If you keep your room warm, wear scanter nightclothes.
Use Your Sense(s)
By making sleep time a sensory experience, you might find that your body is more receptive to gearing down. Certain scents, such as lavender or vanilla, can help soothe the senses and create an atmosphere that is more conducive to sleep. Make sure to avoid candles, though, since you don’t want to risk falling asleep with the candles still burning. Instead, consider scented room sprays, sachets, potpourri or a relaxing and aromatic body lotion to create the soothing sense of calm.
Natural Sleep Inducers
Certain herbs and supplements can help encourage sleep. For instance, melatonin is an over-the counter supplement that is said to increase melatonin and act as a beneficial sleep aide. In addition, valerian is an herb that is frequently marketed as a dietary supplement has a mildly sedating effect. However, you should consult your physician before taking any herbs or supplements.
An uncomfortable bed is the enemy of sleep. Make sure that your sheets and bed linens are clean and comfortable. Some individuals prefer fully stuffed pillows, while others are more comfortable with a flatter shape. Consider your normal sleep position when you choose pillows. For instance, those who sleep on their stomach are likely to prefer a flatter pillow, while those who sleep on their side might need a fluffier pillow.
Cut Out the Distractions
Make sure that your bedroom is not overly stimulating. Keep your bedroom dark, and avoid television or computer time before bedtime. (And save any movies that cause adrenaline overload or weepy tearfests for daytime viewing only.)
Also consider the auditory distractions in the room. If there are noises that might be interfering with sleep, such as loud traffic or barking dogs, consider investing in a white-noise system to help drown out the offending noises.
It can be difficult to drown out daytime’s noise and distractions, but by making an effort to wind down before bed, to make sleep a priority, and to create some soothing routines to lull your body into a more relaxed state, a good night’s sleep can become less of a wish and more of a reality.
Mayo Clinic, Sleep Tips: 7 Steps to Better Sleep
Mayo Clinic, Insomnia: Alternative Medicine