Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it is understandable that many people have had difficulty to sleep. COVID-19 by far, is a major source of stress and anxiety for large sectors of the population.
If you are experiencing trouble to sleep, don’t wait any longer and try one -or more- of these 17 techniques to promote a night of peaceful and restful sleep over and over again.
And yes, how you sleep will definitely affect your job. Sleeping well not only will let you do your tasks well, but quickly too. You will do more, better and in lesssssss time
1. Transform Your Room Into A Haven Of Peace
Your bedroom should be the quietest space in the house. If you live in a city or other noisy environment, and loud sounds wake you up several times a night, try wearing earplugs.
Apps and devices that play white noise can also help you sleep better. When a noise wakes you up in the night, it is not the noise itself that wakes you up, but the sudden change in noise that jar you. White noise creates a masking effect, blocking out those sudden changes that frustrate light sleepers.
“This is why the majority of bedpartners prefer the constant white noise of a CPAP machine rather than their spouse’s crescendo-decrescendo snoring sounds,” Clete A. Kushida, director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research, writes in an email to Popular Science.
But having your bedroom the quietest place at home does not do if your frame is noisy. Just imagine how annoying it would be if every time your partner changes the position your frame started creaking. It would be impossible to get a full-resting night. Heck, you would have the same problem even if you sleep alone!
2. Make Sure The Temperature In Your Room Is Ideal
In order to fall asleep quickly and get a good rest during all the night long, your room shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. In general, the ideal temperature in your bedroom should remain between 16℃ and 18℃ (60-65℉). An air conditioner or a heater can help you to maintain the ideal temperature of your room.
Your children and elderly people may require a slightly warmer environment. It is a good idea purchasing a range of suitable bedding depending on the season: an extra layer of sheets or blankets will make you more comfortable when it is cold, as well a hot water bottle or a good pair of bed socks for cold feet.
3. Buy A Good Mattress
Don’t you remember when you bought the mattress you are using now? Then maybe it’s time to buy a new one.
Even with the best care, your mattress will eventually wear out, usually after 8-10 years. After this period, it may show wear, like coils poking through or saggy edges; or it may not, kind of like a pair of sneakers that you wear only on the treadmill.
In any case, you run the risk of hindering your rest. You may start to have trouble falling asleep, and the time you spend asleep may be less restful than it used to be.
If you feel they become less comfortable, or if you find that you are waking up with an achy back, it may be time to go shopping.
4. Change The Pillow
Some people spend hundreds of dollars on their mattresses, but when it comes to buying a pillow, they go for the cheapest one. For some reason, they do not give them the importance they deserve.
A good pillow has a very important purpose: to support your head and neck, this will let you wake up without neck pain or stiffness. But even the nicest pillow will not do it forever.
Ideally, you should replace a new pillow every one or two years. The reason is simple: every time you use your pillow, it absorbs body oil, dead skin cells, and hair. At the end it will cause smell and in the worst-case scenery, will produce the perfect environment for dust mites that cause common allergens.
Act now and get a new pillow so that you can sleep better at nights immediately.
5. Make Sure The Sun Doesn’t Wake You Up
The sun rises very early in the summer. That’s great for people who need to get up early, but not good for those who might get a reduced night’s rest and need to rest a little more in the morning.
6. Follow A Routine
Parents know very well how important it is to include napping as part of the routine for children. In your case, it is not necessary to adopt a strict procedure; it is enough to establish a simple ritual at bedtime. For example, take a shower at around the same time every day, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, load the dishwasher, close the doors and curtains, and go to bed.
A routine at bedtime will help you fall asleep faster and can be the perfect solution for those with insomnia.
7. Don’t Go To Bed Too Early
While it might sound counterintuitive, some people with sleeping problems, such as insomnia, regularly go to bed too early, hoping to sleep longer. However, it is likely that going to bed when you are not tired will have the opposite effect and end up making it difficult for you to rest. Go to bed at the same time, respecting the routine.
8. Hide The Alarm Clock
An alarm is a useful tool that can prevent you from being late for work. However, if you suffer from insomnia, it is best to hide the alarm clock in a drawer or similar space. Many insomniacs tend to look at their alarm clocks when they have a hard time falling asleep, which causes stress and increases insomnia, rather than helping them sleep.
This advice can also apply to other devices, such as a wristwatch or smartphone, that are used to wake you up. Keep them out of sight.
9. Have Some Chamomile Or Lavender
Chamomile is one of the best remedies that could help you fall asleep quickly. This plant is known for its sedative, relaxing and stress relieving properties. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia, or the chronic inability to sleep.
Try infusions, capsules and essential oils made with chamomile that will help you take advantage of its many benefits.
If you want to use chamomile to combat insomnia, consult a health professional to find the right dose for you.
Lavender essential oil is another effective weapon against sleeping problems, particularly insomnia. By lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, it can help you fall asleep faster.
Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if lavender essential oil will be right for you.
10. Be Careful With Caffeine
Are you in the habit of consuming coffee or a carbonated drink with dinner? If you suffer from insomnia, your sleeping problem could simply be due to caffeine consumption.
According to a study done by Ph.D. Christopher Drake, you should avoid caffeine for at least six hours before going to sleep. Keep in mind that other foods, like chocolate, also contain caffeine.
But avoiding consuming those products is not the only thing you can do. There are also delicious foods that, if you consume regularly, will definitely help you sleep better.
11. Decrease The Stress Level
Stress is directly related to sleep. When you are stressed, you sleep poorly; and lack of sleep increases the levels of stress even more.
Fortunately, there are many ways to combat this vicious cycle. One effective way is making sure to include foods rich in omega-3 in your diet, like salmon fish or linseed. You can also try listening to music.
There are three common reactions to stress, none of them are good for your health nor for your sleep either:
- Overthinking a problem
- Overreacting to a problem
- Become emotionally unstable over a problem
When a person finds what works for them in diffusing stress, the chosen coping mechanism becomes a natural reaction where they can easily fall into it with regular practice.
12. Don’t Exercise Too Late
If you suffer from insomnia, you should avoid exercising late at night. And why is this? In simple words, physical exercise not only increases your body temperature, but also has stimulating properties. After sweating a lot, you surely won’t be able to fall asleep right away.
Instead, it is much better to exercise in the morning, before you go to work.
If you prefer to get in some pre-bedtime movement, try yoga or simple stretching. Both can help you unwind and relax for a restful night.
13. Find The Right Position
If aches and pains are keeping you from falling asleep, try changing your position. Short of ideas? Here you will find 12 great sleep positions no one talks about, represented by adorable pets. Heck! We can learn from them so much!
If you suffer from, for example, neck pain, sciatica or kyphosis, perhaps you should try sleeping on your back.
If digestive problems are the root cause of insomnia, try sleeping on your side.
Consult a healthcare professional to make sure these sleeping positions are correct for you. If the pain continues, your doctor may recommend having analgesics, especially if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
14. Wash Your Sheets Regularly
According to a study carried out by the National Sleep Foundation, three out of four people report sleeping better on freshly laundered sheets.
The foundation recommends washing bedding and pillowcases every week. Don’t forget to choose a laundry detergent with a pleasant scent. Try this simple trick if you have trouble with sleeping constantly.
Why is it important to wash sheets often? Because if not, you are exposed to unpleasant things like:
- Animal dander
- Bodily secretions
- Dead skin cells
15. Be Careful What You Eat Before Going To Bed
To eat or not to eat before going to bed continues to be a controversial topic. In any case, certain foods, such as chocolate, fatty or acidic foods, and alcohol, should never be consumed before going to sleep. These are likely to stimulate or cause acid reflux after you go to bed.
But not everything is bad. There are certain foods that, besides being delicious, can actually help you sleep well.
16. Weaken The Lights Of Your Bedroom Before Retiring To Sleep
The widespread use of electronic devices has led to more and more people looking at their smartphones and other devices just before going to bed.
Unfortunately, using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops and other devices emit artificial short-wavelength blue light, which can disrupt your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm).
To make it easier to fall asleep, turn off all screens at least an hour before going to bed. Some devices continue to emit blue light even after you’ve turned them off; therefore, cover them or remove them from your room.
17. Consult A Doctor
If your sleep problems persist, or if you are concerned about your health, see your general practitioner. Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe hypnotic drugs. In certain circumstances, he might also suggest consulting a psychologist.