We realize the importance of sleep. We try to set aside the adequate amount of time that our bodies require. But what happens if we are not able to fall asleep quickly? We watch the clock tick by minute by minute, maybe even hour by hour, knowing that we are missing out on valuable sleep. Is there anything that can be done to help our bodies and mind fall asleep quicker so that we are able to function the next day and not be sleep deprived? There are a couple tricks of the trade that you can try to see if it will help you fall asleep faster.
-Try lowering the temperature of your bedroom. Did you know that when you fall asleep your body temperature changes? Your core temperature decreases and the temperature of your hands and feet increases. Ideally your room should be between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Stick to a Schedule. Waking up and going to bed at the same time can help your internal clock, the circadian rhythm keep on a schedule. Once your body is used to a set schedule, it will be easier to fall asleep quickly and wake up without an alarm.
-There is a breathing method called the “4-7-8”. This can help bring calmness and relaxation. You first place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Then exhale completely through your mouth and make a whoosh sound. Next close your mouth and inhale through your nose while counting to four in your mind. Then hold your breath and count to seven. Finally open your mouth and exhale completely, making a whoosh sound and counting to eight. You repeat this cycle three more times.
-Light and Dark play a big part in your body’s internal clock. It is important to make sure you expose your body to sunlight or artificial light during the day. Darkness brings about sleepiness, so it is important to avoid dark places during the day if possible. Make sure your room is dark at night, try using blackout curtains to block out any incoming light from your surroundings.
-Try to avoid looking at your clock. It is natural to wake up periodically throughout the night, but if you aren’t able to fall back asleep it can ruin the night’s rest. Some people who wake up get lost in staring at the clock, watching the time tick by as they stress about the time they are missing out on sleep. If this becomes a new habit, your body will get use to waking up throughout the night and you will be missing out on sleep. If a clock is needed to wake up to, try turning it around so that the light from it will not be a distraction.
-Try taking up yoga or meditation. If there is stress in your life it may be difficult to fall asleep. Yoga and meditation has been proven to help calm the mind and relax the body. They have also been shown to help improve sleeping habits.
-Try to do your exercising during the day. Doing physical activity is very beneficial to having a healthy sleep cycle. Exercising increases the production of serotonin in the brain and will also decrease the level of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. It is better to work out earlier in the day, later workouts can negatively affect your sleep cycle.
-Get comfortable! Picking out the right mattress and pillow are probably the top solutions for getting a better night's sleep. Pillows affect the curve in your neck, the temperature and comfort of your sleep. Weighted blankets have been shown to help reduce any body stress and improve the overall quality of your sleep. The pajamas your choose to wear can affect your sleep. You want to make sure that you are wearing comfortable, breathable clothing.
There are so many factors that go into a good night’s sleep. And wanting to fall asleep quickly is something we all strive for. We fill our days with busy tasks and chores, and want to be able to keep our bodies and mind healthy for years to come. We know that sleep is important, so let’s make sure that we can create an atmosphere that will allow us to fall asleep quickly and get the nights sleep that we need.
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