Let’s get straight to it. If you are having sleeping problems, it’s likely you’d like to know how to sleep better as soon as possible.
Sleeping disorders and the resulting sleep deprivation are on the rise in the western world. At first, that might seem like no comfort at all to you, the rise in the number of people feeling tired all the time has prompted a rise in research.
This means that, unless there’s a medical condition which prevents you from sleeping such as sleep apnea* or a physical discomfort, it’s now more likely that you can turn things around for a good night’s sleep and better, more energetic days.
So where would you like to start?
10 tips for how to sleep better: see below
There’s also a quick, up to date guide on choosing the right mattress. We should replace them far more often than most of us do, and there are develoments with mattress technology, would you believe!
I’ve also included some ‘good finds’ that I discovered in my search into how to sleep better. Finds that can help us all into the inky blue depths of a good night’s sleep.
How to sleep better tonight: 10 things to do
What you do in the hours before you go to bed together with the right conditions for your resting body and mind may well be all you need to get your much needed rest.
1 No caffeine within eight hours of bedtime. Period.
2 No alcohol within three hours of bedtime. Period.
3 About going to the gym – don’t do it or any other cardio exercise – within four hours of going to bed. A really nice gentle walk can align and relax the body, and give us a dose of fresh air (not too cold!) if we have been sitting inside heated rooms.
4 Are you too warm? A room on the cool side is best – but not too cool. The best temperature is rated at between 15 and 20 degrees. Feeling hot can be a matter of going through one of those times of life when hot flushes are common.
If you are throwing off your duvet in the night, the chances are that you need a lighter covering. Obvious? Yes. But most of us don’t bother to change our covering – it’s worth it, really.
5 Phones off! In fact all digital and electrical appliances, off. And if you want a truly clean environment, turn off your router too. Not only does this remove EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies), but also you won’t be tempted to start fiddling with your mobile if you should wake up in the night.
6 Start a routine – train your body to anticipate rest by keeping as close as possible to going to bed at the same time. This isn’t always possible, but aim for at least three nights in a row in any one week.
7 Ritualize bedtime. Turn off appliances, set your clothes for the morning, make your bedroom a nice place to be, set your night clothes out of your bed, set your reading material ready, clean your teeth, get into bed…
There may be others that you may like ritualize in the transition from waking to rest to sleep. They are not whimsy: they train your body and your mind into changing towards the sleep state. Marvellous.
8 Funny thing about noise – the slightest noises can stop us from getting to sleep, but once we are asleep we can sleep through very loud noises indeed. I live in an area where Navy helicopters – large ones at that – often go over, often at night. They can shake the glassware! Sometimes I’m reading and so I notice it. There’s no getting away from it. If my spouse is asleep, he will sleep through it without a twitch.
But here we’re concerned with getting to sleep. So if this is being hampered by noise, consider some ear plugs.
9 Bed is for sleeping – not taking your laptop, phone or that report for your work tomorrow. Both are stimulations to mind and brain.
Also, and I’ve noticed this problem with many of my hypnotherapy clients when helping them to sleep, avoid reading whodunnits. And Sudoku and crosswords are out. Your wonderful brain doesn’t like being left in the middle of a problem seeking a solution and carry on trying to find one. Likewise, avoid playing chess on your phone – and turn it off.
I like to read. So I read mostly gentle, positive magazine articles to get me off to sleep.
9 If you can’t get off to sleep, don’t ‘try’ to. Turn your thoughts to a place that you love to be that is relaxing or pleasant – or both.
10 Or listen to some relaxing music. (I know – this may mean turning on your phone for a while). There’s a free 8 minute meditation recording on the Natural Supplement page. See link at the bottom of this one.
And two more for luck
11. Deposit your concerns. Some people that I interviewed about their good sleeping habits said that they imagine and picture some kind of receptacle beside their bed and mentally and deliberately deposited their concerns into that box or basket (ideally it has a lid!) until the morning. If another one floated into their minds, they simply mentally lifted the lid and popped it in there.
Interestingly, none of them knew each other, yet each one had developed this creative habit.
12. Your sleeping posture. This is very individual indeed and your preferred posture, whether out of personal preference of medical necessity, will indicate which mattress best supports you literally. See How to Choose the Best Mattress for the quick guide, and check whether yours is right for you.
So there you are. Some aren’t rocket science, but good tips for how to sleep better and they all add up to relaxing from the concerns of the day into the rest of the night.
What if you just can’t sleep, and you are thinking of taking some sleeping tablets? For some information about what works naturally and the free music recording, go to Natural Sleep Aids.
Happy dreams! and peaceful nights
*Apnea is a condition where the throat relaxes and narrows during snoring which is very loud, causing a total blockage to breathing for more than 10 seconds.
If you wake up feeling very tired and with a sore throat and are tired all the time during the day, this could be why. Be sure to consult your medical practitioner.