Tips to Help you Get a Good Night’s Sleep
By Sarah Parker Ward
Experts agree that getting the right amount of quality shuteye is essential to your ability to function on all cylinders, yet nearly one third of Americans get less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
If you’re one of the many looking for answers to your sleeplessness troubles, these straightforward solutions can help.
The Trouble with Sleeplessness
Sleep is essential to healthy brain and body function – it’s when the body rejuvenates and repairs itself from the rigors of each day, in preparation of the next. Naturally, then, a lack of sleep can lead to lower cognitive function and is linked to long-term health concerns like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It can also lead to immediate dangers, including the 5,000-6,000 fatal car crashes that may be caused by drowsiness each year.
There can be many causes of sleeplessness, but if your sleeplessness seems to be chronic, you may be dealing with insomnia and should see a doctor.
Tips on How to Fall Asleep
There are a lot of ways to help ensure you get a deep, restful sleep each night. Here are some tips to consider that may offer worthwhile results:
- Cut down on caffeine. Skip the afternoon espresso and other post-lunch caffeinated drinks, as these stimulants can keep you up and cause sleep disruptions.
- Stop using your phone before bed. Ignore that nagging feeling to check email or Instagram again and put your phone away at least 30 minutes before bed. Avoid the temptation to just swap to another screen like the TV or laptop, as the light from these devices keeps us up.
- Avoid nighttime grazing. Eating unhealthy foods that are salty or greasy right before bed may lead to nightmares. Avoid these frightening events and weight gain by taking small bites of healthy foods before bed, or by skipping that snack altogether .
- Create a bedtime routine. Find a quiet spot, dim the lights, and enjoy a restful activity like reading or writing to help signal to your body that it’s nearly time to sleep.
- Practice relaxation & meditation. Help your mind calm down with your body by taking a few deep breaths in and out, and clearing your thoughts. If you need something to focus on, think about the things you’re grateful for.
- Keep things consistent. Whatever your routine, find what works for you and stick to it. Before long your body will adjust to this new rhythm and will know when it’s ready for bed – and when it’s ready to wake up.
Sometimes we just really need a good night’s sleep or simply can’t afford to let a temporary disruption lead to poor performance the next day. If that’s the case, sleep aids like TYLENOL® PM (which also relieves pain) or SIMPLY SLEEP® Nighttime Sleep Aid can help you sleep by providing relief from occasional sleeplessness. Some may try natural solutions like melatonin pills or chamomile tea, but you should talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.
Regardless of how badly you’re dragging, there are solutions available and approaches to consider, so don’t give up! Your dreams are within reach.
Third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health, National Sleep Foundation, and US. Department of Health and Human Services.