Everyone has had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep from time to time. You go to bed thinking you are tired and want to get a good night’s rest. Instead, you lie in bed wide awake, as your mind races with an assorted collection of thoughts and worries. Sleep eludes you and you know you will be exhausted in the morning.
If this scenario happens to you every so often, consider the following advice from sleep expert Harneet Walia, MD, DABSM.
mportant Note: If you find yourself struggling to achieve a good night’s rest on a regular basis, it is time to talk with your doctor. Many concerning health issues that need to be medically addressed can contribute to sleep problems.
Though, if you are experiencing only random occurrences with falling asleep, consider these tips.
After a difficult day, your muscles may be tight and your body tense. A variety of relaxation techniques can help you ease your muscles to help facilitate sleep. Techniques range from taking a warm bath to listening to soothing music or meditating before bedtime.
As you lie in bed awake, Walia suggests tightly tensing each muscle group for five seconds, starting with your toes and then working your way up to your forehead. Relax for a few seconds after tensing each muscle group before moving on to the next muscle group.
For a list of other relaxation methods, click here: Relaxation Tips for Better Sleep.
Don’t Watch the Clock
When you continuously look at your bedside alarm clock or wristwatch when you are concerned about your inability to sleep, it can make your situation worse. The awareness of the passing minutes and hours can exacerbate your issue.
Get Up for a While
If you are awake for 20 or more minutes, consider getting up and going to another room. Read a book, listen to soft music, look at the stars, or do another calming activity that helps clear your mind until you feel drowsy. Then, go back to your bedroom and see if you can easily fall asleep.
Check your Room Temperature
A room that is too cold or too hot may cause problems with sleep. A pleasantly cool room is often more conducive to a good night’s sleep than a warm room. Check your room temperature and try adjusting the temperature one or two degrees to see if it helps.
Also, consider what you are sleeping in and your bed coverings. Changing things up a bit may help you get the rest you need.
In addition to turning off lamps and overhead lighting in your bedroom, be sure your window curtains are closed so no ambient light streams into your bedroom. In addition, check for any small on/off or charging lights from phones and electronics that may be casting light in your bedroom. Unplug or cover these lights, which are typically blue, green, yellow or red, as they may be contributing to your inability to fall asleep.
For more advice on what you can do to get a good night’s rest, click here: Healthy Sleep Habits.