Is falling asleep one of the hardest things for you? Have you tried to go to bed at 10 PM only to find yourself staring at the ceiling at 3 AM? Are you reading this at 4 AM and even wondering what you’re doing here? After spending countless nights like these (and pulling an all-nighter, like today), here are 7 things that could help you fall out of the pattern and should help you get back into your rhythm.
1. Get some exercise
A little exercise hasn’t hurt anyone now, has it? Studies have shown that moderate aerobic activity can drastically help insomniacs with their sleep patterns. Not only does it promote a healthier lifestyle, but it wears you down just enough so you can fall asleep a lot easier; although, make sure you’re done exercising at least 3 hours before bed time or risk staying up for a bit.
2. Avoid eating too late
One of the toughest things for me to do is to sleep right after a meal – a reason why I’m up late most nights as well. Avoid eating anything heavy anywhere between 3 and 4 hours before bedtime. If you must, try settling for salads or nuts (cashews, almonds) or a moderate serving of leafy vegetables that are high in vitamin B12 that is said to help with balancing sleep cycles.
3. A warm bath or shower
This is a nightcap that anyone could use to help them get their ZZzs. A quick warm shower before bed helps in reducing your body temperature. This triggers the body to start prepping for sleep – this is what I use most and is a proven method that usually works. Keep your mind at rest, don’t overthink and slowly slip away into a dream.
4. Turn off your devices
This is something that comes up time and again in every research done on insomnia. The ‘blue’ light emitted by computer screens, phones and tablets really do have a detrimental effect on your ability to sleep. If you still need to use them, there is software available that help with reducing these ‘harmful’ lights.
Take f.lux (highly recommended) for instance. I have used this on my PCs and laptops over the years and cannot imagine using them without this piece of software. They have an iOS and Android app as well (needs root permission – try ‘Twilight‘ instead) to use this functionality on your mobile device
5. Leg exercises
I know I said no exercise before bed, however, this could actually help you. Doing some light leg exercise can actually divert blood flow to your legs. This means less blood to the brain and less thinking which makes it a lot more easier for you to relax and eventually doze off.
6. Keep it dark and cool
A dark and cool room not only helps you fall asleep, it also assures that you’ve had a restful time in bed. Ensure that you leave your phones and laptops charging outside the bedroom because even the smallest amount of light can disturb sleep. Also, remember to keep it cool because a slightly high temperature is going to make it uncomfortable for you. You’ll only end up tossing and turning and lose some quality rest that you could have otherwise had.
7. Get outside
If you’re reading this post, chances are that you are sitting indoors. In a lifestyle where work keeps us mostly indoors in our offices away from natural sunlight, it is essential that we take some time off to get some natural light exposure. This promotes a healthy melatonin level in our systems and greatly reduces stress. Getting outdoors can be a great way of catching up with friends and family as well. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
Leave us a comment below if there are any we’ve missed or if you know of other efficient methods that work for you.
P.S. Not an excuse for you to doze in the office now! Tee-hee