Chronic sleeplessness is a growing problem for adults in the US. Whether it’s the effects of our 24/7, always-on culture, sloppy habits when it comes to night time preparation or factors such as anxiety, it’s never been as hard to get a good night’s sleep as it is now – and a certain global pandemic, with all of its worries, hasn’t made it any easier. Yet, when we don’t get the duration or quality of sleep that our bodies need, every aspect of our well being suffers when we’re tired. From losing focus and becoming more irritable, to making the wrong choices about food and exercise, lack of sleep causes problems in our lives. It’s not just the immediate impact either. Cumulative sleep deprivation has a host of implications for our long-term health and raises the chances of various diseases. It’s a building block that needs correcting in order to live life to your full potential and make the most of the opportunities that come your way. So if you are struggling to drop off, what can you do?
Switch Off For A While
One simple rule that is very effective for a lot of people is to ban all electronic devices from the bedroom. Often televisions, phones and tablets keep us up way past our bedtime. The lure of one more episode on Netflix, the evening scroll through social media that ends up taking several hours, the notifications that ping up just as we’re dropping off – it’s easy to see why these devices aren’t compatible with a restful night. Even worse, all of these gadgets emit blue light, which disrupts the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to shut down for the night. Help yourself out by putting your Wifi on a timer plug so it cuts out after a certain time, or by making it a rule to charge devices overnight away from the bedroom. You can even download apps that block social media temporarily if you can’t keep away from your feeds.
Try Some Mood Enhancers
Relaxing can be easier said than done for a lot of us. Getting into the mindset for relaxation sometimes needs some extra help. Many people find that products containing lavender are really useful – pillow sprays or aromatherapy diffusers can help you to enjoy the scent. Others prefer CBD products, which you can source online from suppliers such as Made By Hemp, and come in a variety of applications from drops to add to your bath to gummies and skin creams.
Develop A Wind Down Routine
Going at full tilt all day and then suddenly expecting to be able to stop and drift off to sleep is unrealistic. Your body and brain need a transitional period leading up to falling asleep to gradually wind down. Creating a bedtime routine can be really helpful in this respect. What works for one person may not for another, so it’s all about finding the rituals that are relaxing to you. Some people find that keeping a gratitude journal is helpful, or doing a brain dump list of all the outstanding tasks they didn’t tackle during the day. Others find that listening to a mindfulness podcast or practising some simple breathing techniques can help them destress. When you find something that works for you, allocate time to it an hour before you want to fall asleep to promote gradual relaxation.
Thank you for reading!