Is a good night’s rest eluding you? Do you toss and turn, wake throughout the night or have trouble getting to sleep? If you’re experiencing any or all of these problems, you will know how debilitating ongoing poor sleep can be to your daily life. Here are a few tips to help you identify the cause of your sleep problems so you can make the necessary changes to achieve some much needed slumber.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
In essence, sleep hygiene is about all the things you do before going to bed. There are some classic dos and don’ts when it comes to good sleep hygiene, so here’s a look at the key principles:
- Avoid stimulating activities of any kind at least one hour before you go to bed. This includes watching TV, using a computer/tablet/smartphone, reading in-depth books or magazines, or having a conversation over the phone or in person. All of these activities get your grey matter buzzing, which makes it so much harder to fall asleep when you head off to bed.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks and sugary treats. This obviously includes tea and coffee as well as chocolate, which contains both caffeine and sugar.
- Avoid heavy exercise in the evenings as this is also likely to amp you up rather than helping you to wind down.
- Try listening to some relaxing music like soft classical. If you do read, make sure it’s light and entertaining rather than deep and thought-provoking.
- Take a relaxing bath or shower – just make sure it’s not too hot.
- Sip on some sleep-inducing tea, like camomile or a special ‘sleep’ blend.
Create a Blissful Bedroom
Another common source of sleep problems is your bedroom and/or bed. Is your bedroom cluttered and fast becoming a closet or secondary office rather than a place of relaxation and rest? Perhaps you’re doing too many things in your bedroom so you’ve conditioned your mind and body to treat it like any other room in the house. The primary purpose of bedrooms is sleep, so they shouldn’t be used for many things other than this. When you enter your bedroom, it should be a signal to your mind and body that it’s time for sleep. Start reconditioning yourself around this principle and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference it can make.
Also, what is your bed like? Are you finding it harder and harder to get comfortable when you hop into bed? Perhaps you’re waking up during the night or rising uncomfortably in the morning. It could very well be your mattress that is the root cause of all your sleep woes. Like anything, mattresses have a shelf-life; once they’re past their prime, they can do more harm than good. Typically speaking, most mattresses need to be replaced at around the seven to ten year mark. However, maybe it’s not the age of your mattress that’s the problem at all. Perhaps you just have the wrong type of bed for your body. To find out if this is indeed the problem, visit a mattress specialist like Sleepy’s and have a chat to someone in the know. Retailers who specialise in mattresses will be able to advise you on the best bed for your unique comfort and support needs.
Poor sleep, particularly when it is ongoing, can severely impact the way we function. It’s become a really common problem in modern day life, but that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it. Simply practice some good sleep hygiene and take a good look at your mattress to see if it’s time for an upgrade. You’ll be amazed at the difference these things can make to the quality and quantity of sleep you can achieve.