Simple Tips for Sleeping Better
Feeling tired and sleepy is NOT normal. Tossing and turning for hours is not either. We’re all different, so what helps one person sleep better will not work for someone else. However, there are some general, overarching strategies that seem to help more people sleep better.
I once heard a NPR radio slogan, “No music, No life.” This can easily be edited to, “No sleep, no life.” Sleeping well is so vital to health and life, with emphasis on the word “well.” Most of us sleep to a certain extent, but deep sleep or what is known in the field as deep-deep sleep or REM is where the body does all its needed reconstructive work – and that can be elusive.
It can be hard to get that deep, sweet sleep you used to enjoy as a kid, but before you turn to a pill or alcohol, use these simple tips for sleeping better – and deeper. You’ll be getting more quality zzzz’s in no time!
SIMPLE TIPS FOR SLEEPING BETTER
Eating the right amount.
Too much or not enough food can and will alter your sleep quality, this is something that depends from person to person. The absolute best way to gauge this is by keeping if possible a written account of what you ate and how you slept.
Don’t look at clocks.
This might seem odd, but have you ever wanted or needed to sleep and checked on the clock to see what time it was? How did you feel afterwards? Most likely upset, stressed, or uneasy right? Well, this won’t help you get to sleep any sooner, so the best thing is to eliminate this practice all together and, if possible, eliminate clocks from your room.
Get some sun.
The sun keeps our internal wake-sleep clock cycle in check, if you work indoors or don’t get enough sun, try to intentionally make some time when possible (lunch or even breaks) to get some sun. You keep your sleep cycle regular, get some natural vitamin D, and a nice tan to go along with it.
Why the funny look in your face? We have been walking barefoot since the dawn of time, I don’t mean doing it all the time, but just taking 5-10 minutes a day when possible (and weather permitting). It helps you in more ways that you can imagine.
Turn off electronics.
It may sound weird, but unplugging the electronics around your bed (except those used for medical purposes) cuts back on EMFs (electromagnetic fields, which are released by electronics when they are plugged in). Some studies suggest the sleep disorders are cause or worsened by EMFs. You generally sleep more soundly when there is less electricity around you.
After a long day, it can be hard to relax and calm down. You’ve be “on” for hours! Experiment with simple teqniues to relax. There are hundreds! Here’s a list of ways to relax in under 5 minutes (for real) to get you started!
Pay attention to your breath.
After you get in bed, conscious breathing can be a very successful way to relax, calm down, and clear your mind. Breath naturally and deeply. Count your inhales and exhales finding a natural number that works for you. 5, 6, or 7 are commonly good. Count the inhale (1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.), pause for 3 counts, and then count your exhale (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.). Match your inhales and exhales to be the same length. You can also try Darin’s 5-5-5-5 method.
When you sleep well, everything changes! Try following some of the above simple suggestions if you’re struggling with sleeping soundly. Remember, sleep is not a luxury—it is a health necessity. So use these simple tips for sleeping better to start with a better night of sleep tonight!
Colten HR, Altevogt BM, Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health.
Ga´etan Chevalier, Stephen T. Sinatra, James L. Oschman, Karol Sokal, and Pawel Sokal Earthing: Health Implications Public of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons Journal of Environmental and Health Volume 2012, Article ID 291541, 8 pages doi:10.1155/2012/291541