Sleeping, for some, is the easiest thing in the world to do. They just lay their head on a pillow and wake up the next day feeling refreshed and alert. But for others, sleep is so hard to come by they need medication for it. And still, for the rest, it’s a luxury, kept almost out of reach by busy work nights cooped up in the study finishing that very important report or simply because there are a lot of things to do up to the wee hours of the morning.
For those who might be stuck in a loop of exhausting workloads, or just generally experiencing a really bad case of insomnia, here are some tips to try to get some much-needed shut-eye.
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1. Adjust that Body Clock
It is important to note that sleeping is not uniform and do not operate the same way for everybody. Just one look at the many sleep disorders one can have can clue you in on just how complex sleeping is for some people. One of the first things you can do if you are trying to buck restless nights and tired mornings is to adjust your body clock. Try to wake up at the same time every day even though it’s difficult. Doing so will induce your body to be tired at a certain hour at night that corresponds with your morning alarm.
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2. Dark when Night, Bright when Morning
Part of the process of falling asleep is getting into the mood for it. More specifically, letting your eyes rest in a dimmed room is a key to falling asleep. According to Healthline, a website covering all facets of physical and mental health openly and objectively, this is better described as experiencing both daylight and darkness. This way, you can associate dimmed lights in your room to sleepiness and help your body produce melatonin, the hormone for sleep.
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It’s true that our jobs and our commitments to people around us (or even our social media) might get in the way of sleep, so the best way to try and induce sleep is to make sure that we are disconnected from our phones. If you think it’s so hard, just look at it this way: the blue light from our phones tamper with our body’s preparations for sleep because the light stimulates “daytime hormones.”
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4. No Work in Bed
This one has more of a psychological aspect to it. Restricting work anywhere near or on your bed is crucial because it will help your body associate your bed as a place to simply lie down and rest. If you want to work in a comfortable place, best outfit one of your chairs or buy a soft one so you can still work in comfort without getting distracted by your bed.
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5. Leave the Bed
Perhaps you’ve been lying there looking at the ceiling for almost 30 minutes now, so what do you do? The National Sleep Foundation, a US nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people understand sleep and sleep disorders, suggests actually leaving the bedroom to do some other relaxing activity outside of it. You can try and read in the living room or listen to music. According to the foundation, this helps your body to combat any kind of “unhealthy link between your sleeping environment and wakefulness.”
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6. No Nappy Times
While naps, in general, are helpful ways to make sure that your body takes much-needed breaks between strenuous everyday activities at work or at home, it’s the longer naps you should avoid. Healthline said sleeping for one or two hours around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. can lead to poor nighttime sleep quality. Sleep during these odd hours is also linked to “more depressive symptoms, more limited physical activity,” and a higher risk of becoming overweight.
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7. Invest in your Sleep
Finally, we have to understand that sleep is very important for a human body, regardless if we are growing children or not. It makes perfect sense, then, that we should also invest in a good night’s sleep through good mattresses and pillows so we are comfortable. Now that we don’t bring work in bed and we can comfortably put the phones away, we need to also make sure that our beds are not our exact problem. Do away with discomfort by using medium-firm mattresses or even orthopedic pillows that help prevent body strain.