Having Problems Sleeping?
Roughly 60 million Americans can’t sleep. If you’re having problems sleeping, try these sleep hacks tonight and finally get some rest!
If you’re falling asleep at your desk but can’t fall asleep at night, you’re in good company. Approximately one in three adults are having problems sleeping and are not getting a healthy amount of sleep.
Sleep and sleep disorders have become so widespread that last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeled sleep deprivation a national health problem. Here’s why:
- Getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, mental distress and death.
- Research shows that most teenagers aren’t getting enough sleep, putting them at risk for depression and an increased likelihood of a car crash.
- Sleep insufficiency is linked to industrial disasters, medical and other occupational errors, making it a serious public health issue.
Most people struggle with two main insomnia issues. Either you can’t fall asleep or you can’t stay asleep.
Scenario 1: You have had a long day and are exhausted, but can’t seem to get your mind to calm down enough for you to fall asleep.
Scenario 2: You are so tired that you fall asleep the minute your head hits the pillow. But come 3 a.m., your body thinks it’s time to party!
Sometimes referred to as sleep maintenance insomnia or middle insomnia, waking up in the middle of the night impacts your body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep just as much as going to bed too late does.
Although most of us are guilty of just accepting the fact that we don’t get enough sleep, both issues are harmful to your short and long-term health. Even if you are up at night nursing a baby or working an extra job to make ends meet, we all deserve – and need – to get the best night’s sleep we possibly can.
Don’t worry – we have you covered! Keep reading for 16 hacks to help you if you are struggling with either issue. We’ll take you through exactly what to do to take control of your insomnia once and for all.
Having Problems Sleeping? 16 Hacks for A Great Night’s Sleep
Fall Asleep Hacks
Invest in a high quality mattress
We spend 33 percent, or approximately 26 years, of our lives sleeping in our beds. Wow! Although it can be tempting to put your budget toward designer decor rather than a mattress, your mattress is not the place to skimp.
Consider purchasing luxury linens
Studies show that decreasing our body temperature at nighttime can help us sleep well. But if you are sleeping on low-quality sheets, they may be made of synthetic fabric, which traps heat. Consider upgrading your linens so they won’t make you hot or irritate your sensitive skin.
Make your bed every morning
We know – now that you’re a grown up you get to choose whether you make your bed or not. But it’s in your best interest to, and here’s why: The National Sleep Foundation has found that people sleep better when their rooms and beds are clean. Be sure to change your sheets once a week, too.
Purchase a new pillow
When was the last time you changed your pillow? Did you know that experts recommend you change them every six months? Dirt, oil, dead skin cells and dust mites accumulate and lurk in them, causing allergies, acne and more. Foam pillows are among the household items with the highest amount of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, or “PBDEs, which have been linked with a variety of health issues including learning and memory impairment, liver damage and thyroid disruption.
Clean up clutter
If your bed also serves as your closet, book shelf and dining room, it’s time to clean up your clutter and bedroom habits. Beds are for sleeping. Spring is the perfect time to do a full room sweep. Simplify your decor. Remove photos, framed diplomas or other things you’ve accumulated that could be linked to stress from your bedroom.
Turn your room into a retreat
Once your room is free of clutter, take a full overview of what else you can get rid of or add that will aid in a great night’s sleep. Purchase some aromatherapy oils and candles. Make sure your room is cool. If you live in a city, consider purchasing a small sound machine to help you block out noise.
Be mindful of light
Try to soak up at least a few minutes of morning sunlight. When bedtime approaches, a simple light dimmer can become your new best friend. Use it to help your body produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
Stay Asleep Hacks
Studies show that even 10-20 minutes of exercise a day can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep and can help you stay asleep longer. Although it may not help immediately, if you’re having problems sleeping, establishing a consistent exercise routine can have a great impact on the quality of your sleep, and your life, long term. For best results, exercise at least three hours before bedtime so you have time to wind down before you turn in.
When you a large meal before bedtime, your body has to go into overdrive to process it while you are trying to fall asleep. Eating sugary desserts and drinking alcohol right before you go to bed creates stress on your metabolism.
Establish a bedtime routine
Try to make the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up consistent each day.
Take control of your gadgets
If you can stand it, leave your blinking devices out of your bedroom altogether. If you can’t (hey, we understand!) Apple’s new “Night Shift” feature reduces your iPhone’s blue light when it gets dark. Android’s Twilight app is similar, and both will help you reduce the amount of blue light you see on your devices at night time approaches. Be sure to put your phone on a sleep setting or silent so calls and texts don’t wake you up, and turn off your TV.
Studies show that mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia and greatly improves sleep. It’s never been easier to establish a bedtime meditation routine. Calm.com offers free daily meditations and a slew of subscription-based sleep-focused meditations.
Make a worry list
Just before you go to sleep, write down everything that’s on your mind. Place the journal or the paper in a “worry box” that you keep outside of your bedroom. This quick exercise is proven to help, especially those of us who find ourselves waking up at 3 a.m. with our minds stirring. Just picture the list and it floating away in the clouds.
Consider underlying causes
From a pet that is causing you to sleep in a weird position every night to a more serious condition, there may be an underlying cause to your insomnia. Consider what else in your environment could be impacting your sleep and if you think it could be a sign of a great health issue, visit your doctor.
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral therapy helps people address thought patterns that cause worry, anxiety and a racing mind. If you’ve tried everything, make an appointment with a CBT therapist or purchase a book.
Water influences virtually every system and process in our body. By drinking more water, we make it easier for them to run smoothly. Drinking caffeine free herbal tea before bedtime will help aid your body in calming down and getting ready for a good night’s rest.
Ready to get a good night’s sleep?
For centuries people have been drinking chamomile tea to help them get a good night’s sleep.
Jumpstart your better-sleep efforts by drinking a warm cup of chamomile tea each night. Need some motivation? Join us over at Healthy Human and give some of our products a try!
What do you think?
Did you these sleep hacks? Let us know how in the comments below!