Did you know that it should only take you 10 to 15 minutes to fall asleep? And that seven to nine hours each night is the optimal amount of sleep for most adults? Unfortunately, around 40-50% of us will experience insomnia at some point in our lives, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for a good night’s sleep in order to help our readers sleep well!
1. Turn off your gadgets. According to Russell Foster, director of Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, states that the blue light emitted from your smartphone, TV, computer screens, and tablets can suppress melatonin, a hormone which helps you sleep. Foster suggests turning off your screens at least 30 minutes before bed in order to help your body prepare for sleep.
2. Avoid that evening nightcap. Alcohol will actually disrupt brain function, leading to shallower and less restful sleep. This light sleep leads to a negative sleep cycle, potentially making you dependent on sedatives to sleep, and stimulants like caffeine and sugar to stay awake and alert during the day.
3. Rise and shine. Try waking up earlier each morning and exposing yourself to as much morning light as possible. This has been proven to stabilize sleep and wake times for the human body clock. Establishing a routine of waking up early and exposing yourself to daylight, your body clock adjusts to sleep earlier in the evenings, helping you get a better night’s rest.
4. Relax. Easier said than done, right? As best as you can, set aside time in the evenings to relax, meditate, or pray in order to release the worries of the day. Anxiety makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep!
5. Exercise. Whether it’s CrossFit, yoga, swimming, running, Zumba, or anything in between, exercising regularly will help you get a great night’s sleep. Do not work out close to the time you need to go to bed, as it stimulates the nervous system and can cause insomnia.
6. Create a bedtime routine. Work on creating a bedtime routine — a way to unwind about 30 minutes before your desired bedtime. Whether it’s sipping on a hot drink, taking a bubble, bath, or reading a book, this time is crucial in signaling your brain that it’s time to take a break.
7. Have a hot drink. A warm cup of tea can help relax and calm the mind. Try incorporating some herbal tea or other hot, decaffeinated beverage into your nightly routine.
8. Listen to calming music. Soothing sounds are a great way to doze off, so try listening to soft, peaceful music or sleep related podcasts to help lull you to sleep.
9. Get adjusted. Did you know that chiropractic care can help you sleep well? By correcting vertebral subluxations, your nervous system can function as it should, helping you get deep, pain-free, and restorative sleep.
10. Set a bed time. Yes, just like when you were a child, you still need a bed time. Sleep is such a critical component of a functioning immune system, nervous system, and more. Make it a priority to get in bed at a certain time each night, insuring that you get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.