We’ve all been there. Tossing and turning at night. Checking the clock over and over. Watching the hours roll by, and failing at every attempt to fall asleep faster. Few things are more frustrating than thinking about how sleep deprived you’re going to be the following day while feeling powerless to do much about it.
At Flexabed, we’re all for promoting healthy sleep habits and quality rest with our line of luxury adjustable beds. As such, we’ve compiled a list of tips to fall and stay asleep. If drifting off to dreamland is an issue for you, try some of these tactics to get relaxed and ready for sleep.
1– Try the Military Method
The military method was initially developed to help pilots fall asleep in less than two minutes flat! This method is also referred to as progressive muscle relaxation. This trick involves actively and strategically relaxing the body one muscle group at a time. You begin by relaxing the muscles in your face including those inside your mouth. Then you drop your shoulders to release tension, allowing your hands to drop down by your sides. Next, you exhale, relaxing the chest. Next your legs, thighs, calves. Then you clear your mind for 10 seconds, imagining a relaxing scene. It takes some practice but can be a great way to wind down and practice mindfulness at bedtime.
2– Manage Lights/Avoid Electronic Devices
Bright light has an effect on the body’s circadian rhythm, which is what keeps people awake and alert during the day. Conversely, the absence of light at night tells the body it’s time to rest. The blue light emitted by electronic screens– like computers, televisions, and cell phones– interrupts this natural circadian rhythm. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and to achieve deep, rejuvenating rest.
Try to avoid screens for at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed! Replace that screen time with relaxing music, meditation, or reading to help the mind and body relax.
3– Ignore the Clock!
Checking the time repeatedly while you toss and turn is counterproductive. The more aware you are of time, the more anxious you’ll tend to become about losing sleep. This will only exacerbate the problem for people with insomnia. Try removing any time-keeping devices other than your alarm clock from your bedroom. Even better, turn the clock away so you can’t see it from bed.
4– Crank the AC
Your internal body temperature actually plays a key role in your biological clock and sleep cycle. Your body temperature drops after you fall asleep, and a cool, dark bedroom helps to boost melatonin production. Most people fall asleep faster in temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you’re a cold-natured person, you may want to try this trick for falling and staying asleep at night! This tip can also prevent waking up in the middle of night from becoming overheated or sweaty.
5– Avoid Caffeine and Carbs
It’s no surprise that the food and drinks you put into your body have an impact on sleep. It’s true that large amounts of carbohydrates can cause drowsiness. However, after a carb-loaded meal, people tend to sleep for a short time, then toss and turn the rest of the night.
Foods with high-fat content are actually better for promoting restful sleep. It’s best to avoid carbs for at least 4 hours before turning in at night, and caffeinated beverages for about 6 hours prior to bedtime. Instead, try chamomile tea and nuts for a bedtime snack. The tea contains calming agents and almonds and other nuts are high in fat and protein.
6– Try a White Noise Machine
If you live with others and are sensitive to noises at night, falling asleep quickly is likely difficult. If someone in your house is watching TV, cleaning, or talking, it can be difficult to shut those noises out and get some shut-eye. To solve this issue, try a white noise machine. White noise machines emit a low, droning hum that calms the mind and allows the body to relax while muting outside noises.
7– Get the Right Bed for You
None of these tips or tricks will do much good if you’re not working with the right bed/bedroom. For this reason, it’s important to ask yourself this question: Are you setting yourself up for success when it comes to falling and staying asleep? Your sleep environment can be just as important as some of these other tips.
Consider your mattress and bed frame. Are they serving your sleep needs? If it’s time to upgrade, check out our Flexabed luxury adjustable mattresses and bed frames. They can be completely customized to best meet your sleep needs and preferences so you can achieve deep, restful sleep every night.