The National Sleep Foundation launched the Sleep Health Index. This study was used to determine the overall health of peoples sleep cycles.
Their initial results found that 45% of Americans get insufficient sleep to the point where it affects their performance. That’s one of the reasons that so many people are looking for things to do when you have trouble sleeping at night.
More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia, which is defined as habitual sleeplessness. Some people only experience it once in a while, while others have to deal with the problem several times a week. No matter how frequently you have trouble sleeping, it will inevitably have a negative impact on your quality of life.
10 Helpful Things To Do When You Can’t Get to Sleep at Night
Here are some suggestions on how to get a better nights sleep:
Wind Down Before You Go to Bed
If you’re still cleaning the house, exercising, dealing with the kids, or finishing up some work right before bed, it might be harder to fall asleep. You need to give your mind and body a bit of extra time to wind down before bed.
Try dimming the lights 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed. A study by the Endocrine Society found that exposing yourself to electrical lights in the evening can diminish sleep quality because it suppresses melatonin levels. You might also consider changing the bulbs in your home to a softer or warmer variety. Lights with a warmer color temperature can calm your nerves.
Do something you find relaxing, such as reading a book. This can help to get you fully immersed in the idea of falling asleep, especially if you take a melatonin supplement first as a sleep aid.
Ditch the Digital Devices
We live in a digital world. But, all that stimulation can keep us up at night. Get rid of all digital and media devices 30 minutes before you go to sleep. This will allow time for your mind to relax.
The light from your devices can make your brain feel like it needs to be awake. It essentially tricks the brain into thinking it may be daytime. So getting rid of that light and stimulation can help.
Use Your Bed for Sleeping
Don’t turn your bedroom into an activity center. You shouldn’t work, read, watch TV, etc. in your bedroom if you have trouble sleeping. If you don’t feel tired, don’t go to bed. Wait until you’re sleepy to climb into bed. Until then, wind down and relax as much as possible.
If you find that you cant sleep after 20-30 minutes, leave the bedroom. Try doing a relaxing activity elsewhere in your home and then go back to bed once you’re tired. People find relaxation in different ways. Find something that helps you unwind without over-stimulating your brain. It’s important to associate your bed with sleeping and not doing other things.
Learn Some Relaxation Techniques
If you have trouble sleeping because of stress, use relaxation techniques.
Breathing exercises or meditation can help to calm your nerves so that you can sleep. Try different techniques to find what works for you. The National Sleep Foundation has some of these techniques available for you to try.
Avoid Caffeine Later in the Day
Drinking coffee so that you feel more alert throughout the day is common. However, too much caffeine could affect your sleep.
Try limiting your caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon and evening. It could cause you to wake up during the night. Additionally, alcohol can sometimes have the same effect.
Create the Right Environment
Make sure your surroundings are optimal for sleep. Use darkening shades or blinds to block out light from outside.
If it’s noisy where you live, drown out exterior sounds with a fan, or a white noise machine. These sounds can be soothing and help you to sleep better at night. Find out about one of the better options in our review below:
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
According to the National Institutes of Health, we should all strive to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. No matter how many hours you sleep, try to be consistent with your schedule.
Going to bed late one night, waking up early the next day, and then going to bed earlier and waking up late the next day can be hard on the body. Try following the same sleep schedule each night, so your mind and body can adjust to the routine. Your sleep-wake schedule should even be the same on weekends.
Get Some Exercise Each Day
Studies by the American Academy of Sleep Studies have shown that even moderate exercise helps reduce the effects of insomnia. In their study, the increase of sleep time in patients who exercised moderately increased by 21%.
For the best results, try exercising in the morning, or at least several hours before you plan on going to bed. This will give your mind and body sufficient time to calm down and relax. If you keep waking up in the middle of the night, give this a try.
Limit Your Naps or Avoid Napping
If you’re not sleeping at night, it can be tempting to nap during the day. Naps can be productive when done correctly. Short naps that are 10-20 minutes long can help you to feel refreshed, and boost your productivity.
Avoid sleeping for longer than 20-30 minutes during the day. Additionally, don’t take naps in the late afternoon, as it may affect your ability to fall asleep at night.
Think Through Concerns during the Day
Often, people have trouble falling asleep because they’re overthinking subjects that worry them. Try addressing your problems during the day when you’re fresh and alert. Designate a specific amount of time (10-15 minutes) to think things through.
It may be helpful to write down what’s causing you stress. This will help you to address stressful situations. Don’t leave all your worrying until bedtime because it’ll cause additional worry and you won’t be able to talk to anyone (including experts) about the subject.
These useful techniques can get you started on the path to a better night’s sleep. We also recommend finding out more about white noise machine for adults and how these can help you to rest more peacefully.