If your bed is calling your name, but once you crawl between the sheets you can’t seem to drift off, it’s an exercise in frustration. Sleep is necessary to overall health and well-being and if you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, here are some tips to help you drift off more easily.
What’s on your mind? Many people find that once they’re in bed and the stresses of the day have been shut out, their mind races with thoughts of items incomplete, tasks not finished and worrying about what the next day will bring. We urge you to write down your thoughts in a journal that you keep at your bedside. Writing down the thoughts that are keeping you tossing and turning might just lead to a more restful night’s sleep.
Use a real, old-fashioned alarm clock. Relying on your smart phone may also keep you awake because you will be listening for the sounds of email and text messages coming in. An alarm clock, especially one that ticks, can be soothing as background aka white noise.
Get up and get moving… but do it early in the day. Exercise will lead to happy, tired muscles and that could lead to a better night’s sleep. Make sure you exercise early in the day – not right before bedtime.
Have a nightly bedtime ritual. Bedtime rituals might seem like something you did for your children, but having a ritual, even as an adult, gets your mind and body in to “sleep mode.” Your ritual could be a warm bubble bath, reading a book, listening to music or anything that is a relaxing activity that you enjoy. Set your own ritual and start it about an hour before bedtime. Incorporate some slow, deep breathing exercises into your bedtime ritual as well.
If you cannot get to sleep, you should get up and get out of bed and do some boring activity until you feel sleepy again. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary and if you’re tossing and turning you will begin to equate bedtime with frustration and that will lead to even more sleepless nights.
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