Do you spend hours and hours tossing and turning every night instead of getting a good night's sleep? Here are some tips to help you get that all important sleep.
Keep a regular sleep pattern. Set a regular time to go to bed every night. Try and stick to this time if you can.
Get your body clock working properly. If you regularly go to bed at the same time, you should awaken in the morning at the same time also.
Increase your sleep hormone Melatonin by exposing your self to as much natural light as you can during the day.
Make sure your home and work areas are lit by as much natural light as you can. This is not always possible during winter months, but you can get a light box to simulate the natural light required.
If you have any lost sleep, take a nap by all means but be sensible about it. Take a nap in the early afternoon and restrict it to 30 minutes. Do not take time sleep time away from the proper night time sleep.
Fight after dinner drowsiness. Do something to stimulate your self after dinner. Go for a walk, do the dishes or telephone a friend for conversation.
Turn off your TV or computer early enough to relax your self. Listen to music, or read a book. The more relaxed you are the better you will sleep.
When it is time for sleep, make sure your room is dark, and quiet. Block light out from windows and doors. Use an eye mask if necessary.
Keep the noise down in your room. If outside noises such as traffic etc can not be stopped, try running a fan to give you a constant noise to blank out the varying pitches of the passing traffic. You can also buy a noise machine to do this for you.
Keep your room cool. About 65 degrees Fahrenheit is good, not too cold so you feel the cold if say one of your feet sticks out of bed during the night, but not to hot that it's uncomfortable and sticky.
Make sure your bed is comfortable. If you awaken with a stiff neck or back pain, then you might have to invest in a new pillow or mattress. There are many useful aids to sleeping with different mattresses, anti allergy products including pillows and duvets.
Relax before bedtime. Take a warm bath, listen to music or do light exercise to relieve and tension in your muscles.
Stay away from big meals before bed, Try and eat at least two hours before bed time. If you have eaten early and need to snack before bed, try a small bowl of whole grain low sugar cereal, sometimes a banana, or Granola with low fat milk or yoghurt.
Avoid alcohol before sleeping. It brings you sleep quality and may mean you have to spend several trips to the bathroom during the night. The same goes for drinking large quantities of non alcoholic drinks too.
Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine can cause difficulties in sleeping up to 12 hours after drinking.
Cut out smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant which can cause restless sleep. You also start the withdrawal symptoms during sleep which will again disrupt your sleep pattern.
Get stress and anxiety in check before going to bed. Try deep breathing exercises, or visualize a place that is peaceful, restful and makes you happy and relaxed.