Mummies get good sleep partly because they don’t really have another option because they are all wrapped up and partly because they are dead. Sometimes we need someone to force us to go to bed, especially as adults. Mom used to tell us when to go to bed, and now we just have our spouses or friends. And they’re usually the ones keeping us up. It’s true, having to go to work early in the morning seems like it would be enough to get us to go to sleep. But sometimes we just want to watch one more episode or play another game or read another book or check on our baby one more time. What we really need is someone to force us to sleep; they might even need to tie us up like mummies. Let that person be yourself. Here1 are some tips2 so you can force yourself to go to sleep:
Give yourself a bedtime. Going to bed at the same time every night will set your biological clock and help you get a good night’s rest. Pick a time of night when you usually feel tired. I know how it goes. You feel tired, but you stay up anyways because you think that if you go to bed, you won’t be able to sleep. So what is the point of going to bed when you feel tired? If you go to bed when you feel tired, you might actually fall asleep. If you do need to adjust your sleep time after you’ve set a bedtime for yourself, just make sure you adjust it in small increments.
Sleep on your back. The best position for sound sleep is on your back because it prevents neck and back pain and reduces acid reflux. If you have to sleep on your side, that’s okay too. Just try to sleep on your left side because it promotes blood flow. And make sure you have a fluffier pillow for more neck support while sleeping on your side.
Unwind at the end of the day. Unwind at the end of the day with music, a book, or a bath. Peaceful activities that don’t involve lights from a small screen will prepare you for sleep and help you relax your mind from the long day that has passed.
Quit smoking and drinking. If your body is addicted to nicotine or alcohol, you can have withdrawals in the middle of the night that keep you awake. Studies have found that having a drink late at night also reduces the amount of REM sleep people get and causes shallow breathing during sleep, keeping your body from receiving proper rejuvenation. Drinking caffeine at night will also prevent you from getting sleep. So stay away from that at nighttime too.
Sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet place. When you sleep, your body’s temperature naturally drops a bit. If your room is too hot, it will interfere with your body’s natural temperature drop and cause you to be awake and restless. Keeping your room around 65 degrees will help you get good sleep and will encourage you to bundle up in the covers. You should also draw the curtains and make sure the room is extra dark. The darkness will help you sleep as well.
Nap. Napping in the middle of the day for 10 to 30 minutes and no longer can give you the push you need to keep working. However, be careful because long naps will just make your nighttime sleep worse and change your sleeping pattern you worked so hard to keep.
Make your bedroom for sleeping only. Don’t work, watch TV, eat, watch YouTube on your phone, or play video games in your room. These things are just distractions from what you really need to do: sleep.
Sleep without pets or kids. If it’s possible for you to turn away your loved ones, don’t let pets or kids in your bed. They aren’t the easiest sleepers, they tend to move around a lot, and their movement makes you stay awake.
Manage your stress. If your mind isn’t free of worries, chances are, you won’t be able to sleep because you’ll be thinking of all the things you need to do. Write everything down that needs done and then forget about it while you sleep. Wind down before bed; focus on trying to forget about all your worries. If you get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be better able to handle your problems.
Exercise but not before bedtime. Exercising is good. We really should know this by now, but a lot of us still don’t do it. Regular exercise can relieve insomnia, improve your quality of sleep, and make you healthy overall. Just don’t exercise right before bedtime because that will raise your body temperature and make it harder for you to fall asleep. Use the Chirp Wheel+ to help you stretch after your exercise; it will help keep your muscles loose so you don’t lose any sleep from back pain.
Increase bright-light time during the day. Just like your body will know when it’s time to go to sleep if you set a bedtime for yourself and sleep in a dark room, you body will recognize nighttime better if you expose yourself to more light during the day. Being outside during the day will help you fall asleep much faster at the end of the day.
Turn your electronics to nighttime mode. Your phone and other electronics will set to nighttime mode where they have that orange screen at the end of the day. Utilizing this feature will help you sleep better, especially if you think you need to scroll through Facebook at the end of the day to wind down. This feature reduces blue light exposure in the evening which helps your eyes and mind transition from day to night.
Take a melatonin supplement or other supplements. Melatonin is a hormone that helps your brain relax. It is often used to treat sleeping disorders, so talk to your doctor before you start using it. There are a lot of other supplements that can help you sleep too. Talk to your doctor about those: ginkgo biloba, glycine, valerian root, magnesium, l-theanine, and lavender.
Don’t eat late in the evening. Eating at night, especially spicy foods that will cause you to have heartburn or diarrhea, will keep you up. It can also disrupt sleeping hormones. Eating a lot of food right before bed has that same effect, so if you are really hungry right before bed, try to just eat a little snack. Just look forward to that breakfast in the morning.
Get a better mattress and pillow. It’s possible your mattress is getting too old for you. You might need a new one or a better one. Mattress experts say you should upgrade your complete bed set every 5 to 8 years. They also say that you should change your pillows even more often (twice a year or more). And you should wash your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. It’s a lot to do, but if it helps you sleep, it’s worth it.
Don’t drink liquids before you go to sleep. This one seems a bit obvious. If you drink a lot of water or other liquids before bed, you’re going to have to get up and pee in the middle of the night. Try to drink a lot of your liquids in the morning and daytime so that you can be hydrated because dehydration might also make you restless.
See your doctor about a sleeping disorder. If you’ve tried a lot of these things in the past and you still can’t sleep, see your doctor about a sleeping disorder. Your doctor can help pinpoint what the foundation of the problem is and can help you fix it.