Have you ever had one of those nights where you can’t get settled? You’re rolling around and huffing and puffing, but nothing you do gets you comfortable. The mind is racing, the body is hyperstimulated, and yet the whole house is dark and silent. So you get up, you do something, and you head back to bed. Finally, you just start to drift off to sleep when the alarm starts sounding.
And those few hours of torture aren’t the end of your problems. Now you have to get through a whole day feeling like you’re hungover. You can’t concentrate, you’re grumpy, and you just want to lay down. Nothing is going to make that groggy feeling go away, so you reach for as much junk food to keep you going as you can. Not a good day at all. And it’s all because of one night lacking in quality sleep.
So how can be more assured of some rest tonight? There are plenty of things you can do that will help. Start with your mind. A busy mind will keep you awake for hours. Or it might even wake you up early. If you have some things on your mind, write them all down. Then read them. Then shut the book on them and get some sleep! Writing them down assures your busy mind that you have started to deal with it. You can now sleep on the problems knowing you’ll wake up with one or two solutions.
A guilty conscience can also keep you awake at night. Some people even claim it gives them nightmares! If you’re feeling guilty about something, put it right. The least you should do is tell someone what you feel bad about. Sharing your troubles can help a lot to ease your mind. Those that feel they are doing well in life socially and financially (and environmentally), tend to be able to sleep better.
Physical discomfort is another reason for not being able to drift off to sleep. It’s really important to pick the right bed for your body type and your preferred sleeping position. When it comes to choosing a memory foam, or hybrid foam mattress, you should definitely do your research. If you can try them out, then do that. But at least read up on the benefits of each. Certain medical conditions, injuries and even aging can make us uncomfortable in bed. Find one to suit your circumstances.
Your bedroom temperature is also important. We all need the bedroom to be cool throughout the night. But if it gets too cold, you can wake up shivering. Try some energy efficient window treatments to keep the temperature more constant, whatever the weather. Fresh air should be let into the bedroom every day to ensure a good night of sleep too. Block out any light to make it really dark. If you struggle to wake up naturally on time, try a lamp that will become brighter as your wake-up time arrives.
Noise can also interrupt our sleep. And the buzzing of electrical appliances can stop us drifting off. Turn off all your unnecessary appliances completely. This will spare you the cost of the standby light being illuminated. It will also go a little way toward a greener lifestyle. And it will also stop that high pitched buzzing noise that can drive you mad in the middle of the night.
Kids can toss and turn, groan, grunt and even scream in their sleep. As parents, we always have one ear on alert to listen out for them in the night. Why not use a baby monitor instead? Some work over the internet so they can ping your phone if your child actually wakes up. That saves you from having to listen out for every little snuffle.
If your kids do often wake in the night, you can speak to a therapist about the best course of action to ensure you can return to normal sleeping patterns. Sometimes sleeping in their room with them for a couple of nights is enough to soothe them back into a routine. Perhaps investing in a night light will help them feel less afraid of the dark. Even an extra bedtime story can help a child feel more settled at bedtime.
One of the best things for quality sleep is exercise. A brisk walk in the fresh air twice a day can work wonders for those who struggle to sleep. Avoid caffeine after 3 pm, and keep away from computer and TV screens just before bed. Stick to a good bedtime routine, and sleep soundly through the night. Sweet dreams.