It’s happened to every one of us. You get ready for bed, climb into bed, cover up, lay your head down on your pillow, and…your eyes are wide open. At first, you might not get too excited. You think, “I’ve got plenty of time to get a good night’s sleep.” But as the hands of the clock keep going around, you get more and more upset. Because, with each passing hour, there goes your chance of getting another hour of recuperative sleep for your mind and body.
Then, if you’re like me, often by the time I finally settle down and fall into a deep sleep, it seems like my alarm immediately starts ringing!
The next time you have insomnia, before you reach for the sleeping pills, try these tips instead.
Sleeping pills aren’t necessarily the best cure for your sleeplessness. They can be addictive. Several brands have warnings and dangerous side effects on the side of the bottle.
1. Stimulants Can Keep You Awake
A stimulant can be defined as “a food or drink that temporarily arouses or accelerates physiological or organic activity.” Plainly speaking, a stimulant hypes up your body and/or your mind. Common foods and drinks in this category include regular coffee, coffee products such as cappuccino, latte, mocha, etc., soda pop, and chocolate. These consumables include caffeine. They often include sugar as well.
A good rule of thumb to follow is: In order to help your mind and body relax, avoid eating or drinking anything that contains caffeine or sugar at least three (3) hours before you go to bed.
You can enjoy these foodstuffs, but have them in the daytime or in the early evening hours.
2. Got Milk?… It Can Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Tryptophan has long been known as a sleep aid. It increases the level of serotonin, which is a
tranquilizing neurotransmitter in the brain. You can buy Tryptophan over-the-counter, or, you can get it by drinking milk.
So, to help you get a good night’s sleep, try drinking a glass of milk before you go to bed. Warmed up or straight out of the refrigerator, milk can really have a soothing effect on you.
3. Do the Bed Test
Lie down on your bed: Is it comfortable? Is your pillow too hard or too soft? A bed mattress that is too soft might not offer the support your body needs. It can give you a back ache, as well as other body miseries. The same thing goes with a mattress that’s too hard.
If you share your bed with a partner, your bed may be too soft because the mattress is what they
prefer. If this is the case, you can simply remedy the problem. First, measure half of the bed. Then, get a piece of plywood the exact size of the measurement you took. Then, slide the plywood underneath your side of the bed, and presto! Your side of the bed is firmer, while your partner’s side is still as soft as he/she prefers it.
4. Is Your Bedroom Conducive to Sleep?
In order to get a good night’s sleep, your bedroom should be a peaceful, quiet setting. If outside noises such as traffic or the neighbor’s barking dogs keeps you awake at night, try drowning out the noise by turning on a fan. You can also try turning on a radio station that plays nothing but soft music. Or, you can buy a machine that creates, “white noise”. There are also stereo headphones on the market that you can buy to drown out unwanted noise.
Is your bedroom dark enough? Or, is it too dark? You can easily darken your bedroom by installing heavy drapes or mini blinds on the windows. Or, if you prefer a “lighter” setting, you can brighten your bedroom up by turning a nightlight or a small lamp on at night.
5. Clear Your Mind of Clutter
Can’t sleep at night because your mind is full of worries and concerns? Try this simple exercise to relieve your stress: pretend that your mind is a chalk board. Every time a worry enters your mind, pretend it is written on your mental chalk board. And, erase it right away! Repeat this process and keep erasing these bothersome thoughts as they enter your mind. You’re sure to get a good night’s sleep once your mind is clear and calm!