If you’re like many people, you might struggle to remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep.
A Consumer Reports study found that almost 70% of people struggle with falling and staying asleep once a week (1). On top of that, 27% of people admitted that sleeping is a challenge they go through every night.
As sleep deprivation can lead to everything from moodiness in the short-term to an early death years later, fixing your insomniac tendencies should be a priority (2).
Luckily, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t as impossible as many people make it out to be. With some minor lifestyle tweaks, you’ll be counting sheep in no time.
Let’s look at five things you can do.
1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
You might be spontaneous and random, but your body isn’t. If you find yourself going to bed early one night and staying up till sunrise the next, understand that you’re throwing a wrench into the schedule your body hoped to follow.
Our bodies rely on an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm. This is a regulatory system that tells your body when it’s time to sleep and wake up.
When you stick to a semi-consistent sleep schedule, your body knows when it should pencil in sleep. Over time, it’ll adjust, and falling asleep will become easier (3).
2. Put away electronics
As technology permeates deeper and deeper into our lives, places that were once electronic-free zones have since evolved. Today, many people split the time they spend in their beds between sleeping and doomscrolling on social media.
While watching “one more” TikTok before turning off the light might seem harmless enough, doing so can affect your body’s ability to fall asleep.
Electronic devices like phones and tablets emit blue light, which impedes your body’s ability to produce melatonin, a hormone that aids with sleep (4).
Many of the information we consume from electronics also keeps our minds in an active and engaged state, which can further make falling asleep difficult.
Try wearing blue light glasses, or even better—put all electronics away around an hour before you go to sleep.
3. Exercise during the day
Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s also something that you can do in as little as ten minutes.
Besides helping you get fit, exercise produces serotonin while decreasing levels of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. The peace of mind exercise brings can make it easier to fall asleep later on.
To see the biggest impact on your sleeping ability, most experts recommend working out in the morning, as opposed to late at night (5).
4. Cut back on coffee and tea
You might not be able to start your day until you have caffeine coursing through your veins, but keep track of when you’re drinking your beverages of choice.
A cup of coffee or tea in the morning should be fine, but studies show that the effects of caffeine can linger in your body for up to six hours (6).
Instead of drinking a caffeinated drink in the afternoon or before bed, try drinking a chamomile, magnolia, or passionfruit tea. All of them can help you relax and drift off to sleep.
Speaking of relaxing, we spend far too much time worrying about things during the day. Try not to bring that energy with you into bed.
Visualizing happy things and good thoughts can help you fall asleep faster than dwelling on stress and negativity.
If you need some help relaxing your mind in the evening, try reading a book, practicing deep breathing, or doing yoga.
The night’s sleep you dream off
Sleep deprivation is a real problem that millions of people suffer from. Besides being frustrating, it can also affect your mental and physical health.
Use the techniques mentioned above to help make the good night’s sleep of your dreams a reality.