You probably know that a bad night of sleep can affect your performance the next day. Apart from making you grumpy and foggy, a lack of good night’s rest can also result in irritability and poor concentration. While one sleepless night may not harm your health, habitual sleep deprivation can have detrimental physical and mental effects.
Experts note that one of the main reasons for sleepless is having a mind that can’t stop thinking. Worrying about things while lying on the bed or not being able to switch off your thoughts can increase your cortisol levels, making you more anxious and restless. And as the night progresses, you will then start to wonder how many hours you’ve got before you need to wake up.
If your mind does not switch off immediately, it pays to have a gradual transition from being awake to sleep. You can also evaluate your bedding or modify your bedroom and make it ideal for sleep. This could mean replacing your mattress, dimming the lights, or eliminating clutter and distraction.
Here are some of the things to consider if you can’t fall asleep easily:
One to two hours before going to bed, engage in relaxing activities to help you wind down. You can pick anything that you enjoy such as reading, going for a short walk, or listening to mellow music. Be sure to avoid physically exhausting and mentally stimulating activities like vigorous exercise or watching a horror or thrilling movie.
If you tend to worry before bedtime, it is advisable to schedule a worrying time or session earlier in the evening. This is much better than making a list right before sleeping, as you need to have adequate separation from your thoughts at night. Also, stop looking at the clock or trying so hard to make yourself fall asleep.
Check your bedding
Comfortable bedding is one crucial component of good sleep. If you sleep better in a hotel or someone else’s house, your old and sagging mattress may be the one to blame. The same is also true if you frequently toss and turn at night or wake up with back/neck pain and stiffness. Experts at mattress stores in Salt Lake City note that replacing yours helps, especially if it is more than 7 to 10 years old.
When shopping for a new one, avoid buying a mattress that is extremely firm or soft. This is true even if you have back problems. It is best to try out the mattress first. Note that in most cases, a medium firm mattress is ideal for those struggling with low back pain. But then again, your preference matters.
Modify your bedroom
Apart from buying a new and comfortable mattress, here are some tips that can make your room sleep-friendly:
- Install a dimmer and dim the lights an hour before going to bed.
- Replace or upgrade worn-out pillow.
- Block distracting noises with a sound machine.
- Consider essential oils like lavender or jasmine.
- Set the temperature to a comfortable level (not too hot or cold).
- Keep the bedroom dark (use thick curtains or blackout shades to block light from outside).
- Eliminate clutter or remove anything that reminds you of work, chores, and other tasks.
Don’t make sleepless nights a habit. Try some of the things mentioned above to help you feel asleep faster.