It isn’t often you hear someone say, “I had a full night’s sleep, and I’m feeling refreshed.” Instead, most of us are tired in the morning, irritable and frustrated with our inability to relax at night. It’s common to depend on our smartphones or TVs to lull us into a restful state, but these devices often cause more harm than good.
Among your other solutions, you might have taken melatonin to counteract your insomnia. Fortunately, this isn’t your only course of action, and you can fall asleep easily without over-the-counter sleep aids, prescription medication or herbal remedies. Check out these three tips to discover how.
Set a Sleep Schedule
Disturbance in your circadian rhythm can cause a lack of sleep. When your internal clock fails, your entire body follows. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to stabilize your sleep pattern, establishing a set routine for waking and sleeping. You should also avoid daytime naps, or, at the very least, make them short and a regular part of your schedule.
To provide a little more information, conditioning yourself with a sleep schedule requires you to wake up and go to sleep at the same time, even on weekends. Your internal clock doesn’t distinguish between different sleep times for weekends or weekdays — so set a similar schedule each day.
Avoid Certain Foods
Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol or consume nicotine products late in the evening. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that keep your body alert, and they’re counterintuitive to relaxation. Though alcohol is technically a depressant, it still disturbs your sleep and wakes you up during the night.
Try to eat a balanced dinner early in the evening. A meal with a sufficient amount of carbohydrates and proteins is best for giving your body the full range of nutrients it needs. If you must eat before bed, make it a small snack that also follows the carbohydrate/protein standard.
Take a Warm Bath
If you only shower in the morning, considering adjusting that habit. Taking a warm bath or shower one or two hours before your bedtime will incite the sleep you’ve been searching for. The warmth will cool your core body temperature, which improves circulation.
As context, the human body needs to cool down by two or three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate deep, restful sleep. Your body releases this heat through peripheral areas like the hands and feet. Bathing speeds up the process by bringing the heat from the center of your body to the surface and outer limbs.
Best of all, you don’t need more than 10 minutes, so if you don’t like the idea of extending your routine, this tip is still effective
A Good Night’s Sleep Is Waiting
You’ll no longer toss and turn for hours each night when you incorporate these three tips into your daily routine. Of course, creating a plan you can stick to requires discipline, but as long as you’re willing, you’re well on your way toward a good night’s sleep.
Dylan Bartlett is a lifestyle blogger from the City of Brotherly Love. He runs Just a Regular Guide, looking at other topics related to health and wellness. Follow him on Twitter and Pinterest to see more of his work.