Healthy Living

Combating Sleep Troubles For Good: A Step By Step Guide

Do you toss and turn in the night, or frequently find yourself dozing off on the couch to then spend hours lying wide awake when you climb between the sheets? If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. Statistics show that around a third of US adults don’t get enough sleep. If you’re tired all the time, you struggle to switch off, or you can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling revived and refreshed, here are some tips to help you combat sleepless nights for good. 

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Regular exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most effective natural remedies for sleep troubles. When your body is moving, serotonin and dopamine levels increase and endorphins are released. This reaction makes you feel good, but it also helps to reduce stress. Stress is a common cause of sleep disturbance, and it can make it very challenging to switch off and feel calm. Exercise can also help to facilitate better sleep quality because it tires the body out. If you don’t exercise frequently, try and increase your activity levels. You can introduce all kinds of sports and hobbies into your weekly routine, including gym and home workouts, walking and jogging, cycling, dancing, rock climbing, swimming, playing tennis or golf or taking part in team sports. Try and avoid exercising late at night, as exercise is a stimulant and it makes you feel energized. Ideally, you should aim to work out before 5 pm to aid sleep.

Seeking advice for ongoing issues

We all experience sleepless nights from time to time. Most of us can bounce back after a bad night, but frequent disturbances and ongoing sleep troubles can soon take their toll. A lack of sleep can increase the risk of physical and mental health conditions, as well as affecting our relationships and how we function at work or college. If you have been struggling for a long time, or you’ve recently found that it’s increasingly difficult to get to and stay asleep, don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help. A sleep disorder doctor can offer advice, provide information about self-help techniques to try at home and talk to you about treatments and remedies that may be beneficial. In many cases, people can improve their sleep habits by addressing underlying concerns and causes, such as stress or anxiety. 

Adopting a new evening routine

When we talk about sleep routines, we often think about children. Parents spend weeks, months, even years, trying to get their kids into a routine, which enables them to get sufficient rest every night. Adopting a routine is not just beneficial for children. It’s also incredibly advantageous for adults. We all have an internal body clock, and if we get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time, our body clocks adjust. If you tend to go to bed at 9 pm one day, and you’re up until the early hours the next, start setting times to hit the hay and get up in the morning. Once you’re used to your new routine, you should find that your body is ready for sleep when your bedtime nears and that you feel refreshed and alert when your morning alarm goes off. In addition, it’s important to use your evenings to relax and unwind. Once you’ve cooked dinner, put the kids to bed, tidied up or done a final check on emails, give yourself time to relax and unwind. Sit down and watch TV, run a hot bath, call a friend for a catch-up, listen to music or snuggle up with a good book. Avoid working, checking social media or doing anything that will stress you out or stimulate your mind late at night. 

Creating a serene environment

Your sleeping environment can be influential when it comes to the quality of your sleep. If you find it hard to drift off because it’s noisy or light is streaming through the windows, there are some simple solutions. Use blackout blinds or curtains to ensure the room is dark, and consider wearing earplugs to bed if you live in the city or you have noisy neighbors. It’s also beneficial to try and turn your bedroom into a serene sanctuary, which makes you feel relaxed and calm. Opt for soothing shades and colors, such as pastels and neutrals, and create a cozy feel with soft lighting and cushions, blankets and rugs. 

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Sleep deprivation can affect your mental and physical health. If you’re struggling with sleepless nights, don’t soldier on in silence. There are steps you can take to try and improve sleep quality, and there is help available if you’re susceptible to insomnia or you’re finding it difficult to cope with stress or anxiety. 

Karla Urwitz
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