Do you go out like a light as soon as you hit the pillow, or do you struggle with the sleepy-man blues every time you try to fall asleep? When you’re desperate for sleep, but can’t manage to fall into a deep slumber, it can seem as though nothing could be more torturous.
In fact, many parts of the world today use sleep deprivation as a method of torture (and torture it is). When you can’t sleep, your brain can’t properly function, your moods become erratic and irrational and your good judgment and common sense fall to the wayside.
Sleep is a basic need, so if yours is currently being sacrificed, why deal with another night of sleep deprivation? Why wake up feeling like you didn’t get a wink of sleep? Why feel like you have no choice but to depend on multiple shots of espresso just to make up for the sleep you didn’t get?
Here are three of the best ways to fall asleep and stay asleep (uninterrupted and with the proper amount of snooze time!) to increase your confidence, boost your alertness and perhaps even have enough energy left over to keep up with your hyperactive kids!
Wake Up Earlier to Fall Asleep More Quickly
Studies show that those who fall asleep at exactly the same time every night (as opposed to those who don’t) fall asleep more quickly and are more likely to stay asleep. If you usually go to bed a few hours after your favorite late-night sitcom is over, try heading to bed at a more reasonable time—one that will ideally allow you to have 7–8 hours of rest.
Commitment is key, so stick to this time as if your life depends on it. What you’ll find is that your body will become accustomed to this routine and have an easier time winding down at night, allowing you the peaceful rest your body and mind require!
Increase Your Cardio to Increase Your Quality of Sleep
You already know that intense running sessions on the treadmill or dance classes at your gym are effective ways to lower your risk for obesity or get you into a smaller pair of jeans. As it turns out, if you’re unable to fall asleep quickly, it could be due to not getting enough exercise during your day. Just like a toddler who needs to be “worn out” in order to pass out at nighttime, you need to wear yourself out as well!
If you need to get a better night’s sleep, raise that heartbeat! That means that while you’d love to go home and relax after a long day of work, what you really need is a stress-decreasing, adrenaline-pumping workout. That way, when you’re ready to hit the pillow and fall asleep, your body will be so worn out that you’ll be able to do just that!
Climb the stairs at your apartment building instead of taking the elevator. Build an exercise group at work and encourage your co-workers to take a walk around the block during your lunch hour, or try out your local kickboxing class and eliminate a week’s worth of anxiety in one 45-minute session!
Turn Your Bedroom into a Personal Oasis
Is your bedroom stressing you out?
Sometimes, the inability to fall asleep right away has everything to do with what’s surrounding you. If your bedroom is unorganized or cluttered, or shares space with your home office, that could be leaving you frazzled instead of letting you drift off into dreamland.
Your bedroom shouldn’t just be the place where you sleep and get dressed. It should be your personal oasis, solely representative of who you are and what you stand for and full of the things you love most.
Look around your room and get rid of any old letters, bills and notifications that need to be thrown out but haven’t been. Pick up the empty wine glasses or the clothes that are waiting to be put away. If you have a television in your bedroom, turn it off an hour before you go to bed. Incorporate dim lighting in your bedroom, turn down the shades and get comfortable in loose-fit pajamas.
Play some soft classical music and spray your bed pillows with lavender or eucalyptus essential oils. What you’ll notice won’t just be a difference in your bedroom ambiance, but a difference in your mood and stress level as well!
Falling asleep is challenging for many, but when you take control of your daily exercise routine, bedroom environment and sleeping schedule, you can easily manage the quantity and quality of your sleep—even if World War III is raging outside!