Every year, there are more than 40 million people in America that suffer from sleep disturbance. Research has shown that sleep problem takes a cost on mental and physical health. When we sleep, the body secretes hormones that affect energy, mood, memory, and concentration.
Many of us do not get enough sleep because of our work and stay awake at night. Those missed sleep led to a sleep deficit that affects concentration, study, and work. They can also cause emotional and mental problems like depression.
If you think you are the one who is suffering from a sleep problem, then yes, you are on the right track to find out useful tips to manage your sleep problems. Let’s go through 32 useful ways to deal with sleep changes.
Balance food intake
1. Eliminate alcohol and stimulants
Alcohol has been found in effecting sleep. For those people who occasionally use alcohol, it improves sleep initially. But high alcohol doses result in sleep disturbances. Studies have shown that consumption of alcohol and other drugs results in lower sleep quality. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate. A greater amount of caffeine can cause a loss of REM sleep.
Please ensure not to make yourself addict to alcohol and stimulant to deal with sleep changes. Stay away from the company or friends who intake drugs. Promise yourself to take care of your health and habits.
2. Balance food and fluid intake
Diet and nutrition affect virtually all aspects of our health. Eating a healthy balanced diet also improves mental health. Studies have shown that specific diets may also reduce the risk of developing depression. The right combination of fluids, proteins, carbohydrates eaten at the right time increases the level of work routine and performance.
You know what? What we also eat impacts sleep quality and duration. Eating food rich in fat may make it harder to get enough sleep. Lacking nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, and magnesium also disturb the sleep cycle.
3. Keep aside worrying over
Do you feel hard to shut down your mind from worrying over it? Relax!!! If you find yourself lying in bed when it’s time to sleep, thinking about tomorrow or the past. It is better to choose a time before bed, reviewing the day and making plans for the next day to deal with sleep changes.
It is useful to make a list of tasks for the next day before leaving work or ending a day.
4. Write away worries
Worries establish by constantly thinking about life circumstances. It is advisable to keep your schedule and avoid wandering your mind here and there. Keep a diary and write all your worries in it regularly. Writing about worries can help you fall asleep quickly and soundly.
5. Reduce stress
Now the question is how to reduce stress? Several relaxation therapies and stress reduction methods can relax the mind and body before going to bed. It includes progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing techniques, meditation, etc.
6. Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a method that helps relieve tension. In progressive muscle relaxation, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out. You work on your muscle groups in a specific order. When your body is physically relaxed, you cannot feel anxious.
If you have trouble falling asleep, this method may also help to deal with your sleep changes.
7. Take a warm bath
Physical warmth has a soothing effect. A warm bath or hot shower helps the body to feel relax. It soothes feelings of sadness and helps to improve sleep quality and deal with sleep changes.
8. Read a book
You must try reading a book when you are in bed. It helps you relax. Give yourself the gift of readinga book (or listening to an audiobook) for a few minutes before bed; we promise you’ll fall asleep faster.
9. Maintain sleep timings
Sleep helps keep your mind and body healthy. How much sleep do we need? Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
10. Limit naps
While napping seems like a proper way to catch up on missed sleep, it is not always so. It is essential to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern and train oneself to associate sleep with cues like darkness and a consistent bedtime. Napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep.
11. Exercise Early
Regular exercise can improve sleep quality and duration. However, exercising immediately before bedtime can have a stimulant effect on the body and should be avoided. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before you plan to retire for the night to better deal with sleep changes.
12. Turn off all electronic devices
Don’t watch TV or use your phone before you sleep and make sure your bed is only sleeping. Make a proper nighttime routine so you can make a habit of sleeping on time. If you find it hard to quit using the device, put your electronic device in a separate room before bed.
Your mind should be relaxed and at ease when you’re about to jump into bed.
13. Reduce noise
Noise interferes with sleep badly. To achieve a noise-free environment, lower the volume of outside noise with earplugs or a white noise appliance.
14. Go to sleep when truly tired
- Struggle to fall asleep leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing.
15. Get out of bed when you wake up
Struggling hard with this? It happens when you procrastinate. So keep yourself active and when you wake up, get out of bed to maintain your sleep pattern.
16. Keep a sleep diary
Start keeping a sleep diary or a sleep log so you can understand your sleep pattern better. The asleep journal will contain your sleeping habits and how they affect your life. You’ll have to write down your sleeping and waking times. A sleep diary can guide you on improving your sleep quality by changing your sleeping habits.
17. Don’t stew in bed
You want to avoid a connection in your mind between your bed and frustration from sleeplessness. This means that if you’ve spent around 20 minutes in bed without being able to fall asleep, get out of bed, and do something relaxing in low light. Avoid checking the time during this time. Try to get your mind off of sleep for at least a few minutes before returning to bed.
18. Increase light exposure during the day
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy and nighttime sleep quality and duration. Try getting daily sunlight exposure, or if this is not practical, invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs.
19. Use light to advantage
Natural light keeps your internal clock on a healthy sleep-wake cycle. So let in the light first thing in the morning and get out of the office for a sun break during the day.
20. Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future. It helps you deal with sleep changes in better way.
21. Make the sleeping environment comfortable
Temperature, lighting, and noise should be controlled to make the bedroom conducive to falling (and staying) asleep. Your bed should feel comfortable and if you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider having the pet sleep somewhere else if it tends to make noise in the night.
22. Make bedroom quiet, dark, and cool.
Avoid noise to keep your bedroom quiet. Darkness is important for deep, restorative sleep and a regular sleep clock. Make use of eye blinds can enhance your sleep quality. According to most sleep experts, the optimal temperature range for rest is somewhere in the range of 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
23. Move bedroom clocks out of view
Sometimes, when you have trouble sleeping at night, you tend to look at your clock to see its time. You can avoid looking at the clock, but an even better option would be to put your clock in a different room when you’re about to sleep. If you use your phone to check the time, put your phone in a drawer or another room.
24. Develop soothing bedtime rituals
When you were a child, you probably had a bedtime ritual. Perhaps you took a bath, got into your pajamas, brushed your teeth, and lay in bed under soft light while your mom or dad read you a favorite story. The soothing process helped your body relax and signaled to your mind that it was time to cool down, let go and fall asleep.
25. Restrict the bedroom only to sleep
The bed is for sleeping and having sex, and that’s it. If you suffer from sleep problems, do not balance the checkbook, study, or make phone calls, such as in bed or even in the bedroom, and avoid watching television or listening to the radio. All these activities can increase alertness and make it difficult to fall asleep.
26. Consider a soft mattress and pillow
Apart from the relaxing environment, bed quality can also affect sleep. Additionally, poor quality bedding can lead to increased lower back pain. Consider opting for a soft mattress and pillow for quality sleep.
27. Hog the bed
A study has shown that more than 80 percent of adults who sleep with children have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Dogs and kids can be some of the biggest bed hogs and some of the worst sleepers. Everyone deserves their own sleeping space, so keep dogs and kids out of your bed.
28. Maintain an average temperature
Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. To optimize your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.
29. Melatonin supplements
The hormone melatonin plays a role in your natural sleep-wake cycle. Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night. Some research suggests that melatonin supplements might help treat sleep disorders, such as delayed sleep phase, and provide some relief from insomnia and jet lag.
30. Rule out a sleep disorder
A physician or medical practitioner will rule out other sleep disorders, medication side-effects, substance misuse, depression, and other physical and mental illnesses. Some medications and medical conditions can affect sleep. If the above mentioned ways would not benefit, they must go to the clinician to diagnose the cause.
31. Cognitive therapy
The therapy is used to help you identify attitudes and beliefs that hinder your sleep. These negative thoughts involve worries and stress that keep you awake. A therapist enables you to process your thoughts and feelings about sleep.
Aromatherapy is a holistic, healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health. It can help you better sleep.
Moving forward with Psychotherapy
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Alternatively, if you need to seek psychotherapy, be sure to check out ahealo.com. Ahealo is an online psychotherapy platform with a diverse range of psychotherapists for many different fields of mental challenges. Ahealo provides ePsychotherapy at an affordable price, confidential, convenient (through a web page 1-1 private video call), and at your comfortable schedule.
With these options, we believe your sleep problems and changes can be resolved soon.
Take care and stay well.