A Treasure Chest Of Proven Tips That Help You Get The Restorative Sleep You Deserve Every Night
Almost 70% of population in the USA has sleep difficulties which are severe enough to create anxiety and stress during the day. Falling asleep, also know as sleep induction, can be the trigger to restless tossing and turning, brought on by anxiety about being able to drift off.
This endless cycle can be difficult to break. I know, I’m the CEO and senior editor of The Mattress Buyer Guide, and I’ve struggled to fall asleep for year. In fact, I’ve taken sleep meds to help me out, and it took years to wean myself off of them.
If you have anxiety or are worried about the quality of your sleep, and you don’t look forward to climbing into bed at night, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest joys…sleeping. Your body and your brain demands that you give it a solid 7-9 hours to recharge, heal itself, create new cells, build new neurons, remove toxins, and reboot itself. We are so hardwired to sleep that our brains can easily be coaxed into falling asleep and staying in a restorative sleep state..much easier than you might think.
Even if you resist falling to sleep, can’t clear your mind, and feel tempted to refilling that Ambien prescription, there are really simple steps you can take to increase your odds of nodding off easier. Don’t underestimate the power of some simple tricks to get to that heavenly tipping point where your brain is powerless, and literally pushes you over the edge into a hibernating bear’s realm.
First off, make sure your mattress is wonderful. If you are looking for a mattress, consider checking out our own Trusted Dealer page, where we offer a heavily vetted lineup of the best mattresses available online. And, check our Z-Cave page, where we teach you how to set up the perfect bedroom sanctuary that decompresses, reduces stress, and calms and relaxes you as you prepare to fall asleep.
We’ve got some solid tips that we guarantee will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and provide you with more energy and fulfillment when you wake up. You don’t have to do all of them, but give it your best shot to line each tip up sequentially during your day or evening, and the more you can integrate into your routine, the better.
1. Increase Your Exposure To Bright Light During the Day- Increasing your exposure to natural light reinforces your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and tells the brain when to release melatonin, which induces sleep and reduces anxiety. Get outside and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep by up to 83%
2. Reduce Blue Light Exposure From Devices After 7PM- Blue light exposure has a negative impact on your circadian rhythm by suppressing the natural levels of melatonin that promote sleep. Stop watching TV at night, install a blue light reduction app on your cell phone or tablet. You can also buy non-prescription blue light blocking glasses to reduce toxic blue light.
3. Avoid Long Naps During The Day- While napping is an excellent way to refresh your brain in the middle of a stressful day, you should keep naps to a maximum of 20-30 minutes. Naps are wholesome and healthy for your mind and body and can give you some more fuel and staying power for the day, but long naps where you tend to fall heavily into REM sleep impacts your night time sleep by messing up your diurnal clock, melatonin release, and by reducing the amount of time your body needs to sleep at night.
4. Watch Your Caffeine Dosing- 90% of us enjoy caffeine consumption on a daily basis and in small quantities actually provides many proven benefits. I know I could not survive without my morning dark roast, but totally avoiding caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours prior to your bedtime will keep you from staring at the ceiling. Also, keep in mind that caffeine can stay in your system for up to 6 hours before you get rid of it in urine output. Excessive use of caffeine near bed time doesn’t bother everyone, but it can cause anxiety and increased heart rate just at the time your body is shutting down for the night.
5. Keep Your Sleep And Wake Patterns Consistent - Our brains are creatures of habit, built on millions of years of evolution that is synced with the earths orbit and a regular and reliable pattern that is consistent with our diurnal nature. When you routinely change your bed time, or wakeup early or excessively late, you disrupt the endocrine system and screw up your melatonin levels needed for sleep. Fooling with your circadian rhythm can cause poor sleep and lack of deep REM sleep. Use an alarm clock if you have too, even on the weekends.
6. Take Natural Supplements Instead Of Sleep Medications - If you are notorious for having trouble sleeping, especially falling to sleep, called sleep induction, there is a garden full of supplements you can find almost anywhere to try to improve your sleep. Melatonin, the body’s natural sleep inducing hormone, is available in a variety of doses. I say try 10 mg, though dosing is available in 3g, 5g, and higher. If you are sensitive to medicines and supplements, start with 5 and work your way up if you need it. Since it is a substance naturally produced by the body, its 100% safe. It’s also great for travel, and many studies show that it improves sleep quality and sleep induction. Other natural supplements you can consider include Gingko biloba, glycine, valerian root, lavender, and magnesium.
7. Tailor Back On Alcohol Before Bed Time - Alcohol consumption at night has been proven to be highly destructive yo your sleep patterns. For one, it depresses melatonin production, and disrupts the circadian rhythm cycle. Studies have also shown that it reduces the production of HGH, human growth hormone, which helps keep your body on a regular clock sleep wise. Alcohol also increases snoring, breathing problems and interrupted sleep patterns.
8. Establish A “Z-Cave” And Optimize Your Bedroom Environment-There are so many ways you can optimize your sleeping environment to improve the quality of your sleep that it’s crazy. From paint color to black out curtains, to using a white noise machine to eliminate background sounds, your bed sheets and pillows, even what you wear to bed- all can have a huge influence. We recommend checking out our Z-Cave page, which gives you a plan of action for creating the perfect night time nest.
9. Choose the Right Sleeping Temperature - Do you know what the optimal temperature is for sleeping in a bedroom? It’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The research on this magic number is thorough, and although it’s perfect for most people, some folks like it a tad cooler, say around 68F. Bedroom temperature is actually more likely to impact your sleep habits than even traffic or background noise. Sleeping in a warm environment can really mess up your sleep hygiene, so try turning down the thermostat a tad. If you have to, add another layer for your body. It’s your head and face that like to be slightly cooler.
10. Stop Eating Late Into The Night - Though some snacks and carbs in particular can help with sleep hygiene, you should separate eating a large meal and bedtime by four hours, according to several studies. Eating excessively right before bedtime, even tryptophan laced turkey, can disrupt your melatonin and HGH levels. Also, your digestive system is supposed to be resting and calm at bedtime, not in high gear trying to process your meal.