There are several reasons why someone may have trouble falling asleep at night. There are also several ways to combat those problems falling asleep. Research suggest that pharmaceutical aids, arguably one of the most commonly used remedies, may not work well in the long run. Rather, it’s important to find ways to support one’s natural sleep drive if you’re looking for better sleep in the long run.
Below are five tips published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, that we (ReST) fully endorse, with a heavy emphasis on #3:
- Track Your Sleep – You must first know how much sleep you are or are not getting. Those who have problems sleeping may focus most of their attention on the bad nights, forgetting that some nights are better than others. Figuring out what’s different between the good and bad nights may be the key to finding healthier sleep patterns. This will also help you establish a baseline, so you’ll be able to track improvements.
- Eliminate Negative Influences –
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and heavy meals within three hours of your bedtime
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool
- Don’t exercise or take a warm bath right before bed
- Don’t drink caffeine after 2 p.m.
- Wind down before bed
- Don’t nap to make up for lost sleep
- Always set a morning alarm to get up at the same time every day
- Don’t look at the blue light of screens for at least one to two hours before going to bed
- Learn to Love Your Bed – A key to getting better sleep is to reserve your bed for sleeping – not resting, relaxing, or watching TV. This way, you train your body to associate your bed with sleeping, not other activities. The same can be said for getting out of bed. When the alarm goes off, get out and on with your day. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, you should get out of bed. Consistency is key. A premium quality bed, like The ReST Smart Bed, can certainly help. Having confidence that your bed is going to help you fall asleep will only make the situation better.
- Spend Less Time in Bed – For those with insomnia, it’s often better to restrict your sleep than to sleep whenever you are tired. Try to stick to a routine of good sleep hygiene, just like exercise or diet. The reason this works is because it builds up your body’s sleep drive. Insomnia builds up over time, so correcting it means having patience and practicing good sleep hygiene.
- Take Care of Worrisome Thoughts – Many people spend time ruminating in bed, rather than sleeping. It’s important to cultivate skills for handling your thoughts, so you can focus on sleeping when it comes time. Practicing mindfulness can help – learning to focus on your present experience without judgement. You can always set aside time during the day to focus solely on worries you may have.
Finding sound sleep can have implications across your life. You’ll not only feel better, but your health, work life, and relationships may improve. It may have been #3 on the list, but we believe wholeheartedly in loving your bed. There’s nothing better than jumping in a ReST Smart Bed after a long day!