By Michael Lamb, originally posted at SweatShorts.co.
We all sleep and we all dream.
Some nights it is easier to fall asleep. Other nights it’s a battle.
After having some trouble with sleeping these past couple of weeks. I decided to do some research.
Here are a few tips to help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer:
1. Keep your room cool: Your body temperature drops as your sleep. Make your room cooler. And jump start you body’s cooling process. Thus making falling asleep easier. Studies show the ideal temperature is between 60-67 degrees.
2. Remove all electronics: Get in the habit of associating your bedroom with sleep and not watching TV, playing video games, checking social media, or reading. These devices, including your phone, can engage you in non-restful activities; making it more difficult to fall asleep. Also according to this research, participants, who removed electronic devices from their bedroom, received an extra hour of sleep every night. That can make the difference between being tired all day and awake and productive.
3. White noise: A constant ambient sound can reduce the difference between background and loud sounds (dog bark, door slamming, etc.). White noise will aid you in falling asleep and staying asleep. I use a fan. But anything that makes a constant sound can do the trick (humidifier, soundtracks, heaters) You can find ambient soundtracks on both Spotify and Pandora.
4. Paint your room: A study done by Travelodge, found that people sleep best in rooms painted blue, yellow, green, silver, or orange. Paint your room your favorite “sleep color”.
5. Exercise: Exercising daily will help you sleep better at night. Exercise helps reduce anxiety, stress, arousal, and depression. These emotions negatively effect sleep. Also, according to a Horne and Staff study, “Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature, and the post-exercise drop in temperature may promote falling asleep.” A cool body temperature will reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. NOTE: Don’t exercise within 3 hours of going to bed. Since exercising raises your body temperature, you may not be able to fall asleep until your body cools off.
6. Limit caffeine: We all know caffeine is a stimulant. Caffeine can also block sleep inducing chemicals and increases adrenaline production. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you stop drinking caffeinated drinks by 2 pm, because caffeine can take up to 6 hours to clear your body system.
7. Get more sun: Get at least 30 minutes of sun every morning between 6 and 8:30 a.m. According to this report, early morning sunlight helps “…regulate your biological clock and keep it on track.” “Research has shown that people who are deprived of light for long periods of time experience dramatic changes in their sleep, temperature and hormone cycles.” So open those blinds when you wake up and get out of the office during lunch. Enjoy what the sun has to offer.
8. Beverages: Minerals in drinks can help you sleep. More importantly drinks fit right into a bedtime routine. Drinking a warm glass of milk every night before bed will condition your body and mind to associate warm milk with sleeping. Therefore you will feel sleepy not only from the calcium and tryptophan in warm milk, but also from the nightly routine. NOTE: Make sure not to drink too close to bed time. You don’t want to interrupt your sleep running to the bathroom.
- Warm Milk
- Almond Milk
- Chamomile Tea
- Passionfruit Tea
- Tart Cherry Juice (The best source of natural melatonin)
- Peppermint Tea
- Chia Seed Drink
- Valerian Tea
9. Same time same place: According to Martin, owner of insomnialand.com, go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Even on weekends! This will develop a routine for your sleep cycle. Conditioning your body and mind for sleep makes falling asleep quicker and easier.
30. Write: Writing in a journal will help you let out your emotions and frustrations. Getting negative emotions and frustrations out of your system will help your mind relax.
Note from ENO: You could also try replacing your old mattress with a hammock for a few nights! The rocking motion of a hammock helps to synchronize your brain waves resulting in a deeper sleep! Wahoo!