If you struggle to fall asleep, feel restless during the night, or feel excessively tired during the day, your sleep hygiene may need some work. Millions of Americans struggle with sleep issues, and while some are due to lifestyle habits that negatively affect their quality of sleep, others may suffer from a serious sleep disorder such as Sleep Apnea.
Are you ready to have quality sleep? Then you need to have the right pre-bed rituals or sleep hygiene, as our experts call it.
How to Fall Asleep Faster and Have Quality Sleep
- Avoid TV/Electronics at bedtime. Darkness stimulates the brain to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin, which is vital for good sleep; also the light source from phones, tablets, computers, or falling asleep with the TV on can suppress melatonin production. If you usually go to bed around 10:00 p.m., try to wrap up your electronic use for the night by 8:00 p.m.
- Develop a pre-bed ritual to help yourself unwind. Try taking a bath, reading, or doing some light yoga or meditation to signal your body that it’s time to relax. Avoiding caffeine, nicotine products, and alcohol before bedtime will also help your body unwind. Even if you’re able to quickly fall asleep after taking these kind of products, as your body begins to metabolize they can often cause fragmented sleep meaning you will be less rested the next day.
- Have a sleep-friendly environment. This often means removing electronics and using good shades. Replace the TV in your room with a fan or humidifier for white noise. Invest in dark curtains to block light coming in from outside streetlights and keep the temperature a little bit lower in your house at night. A cool and quiet room is conducive to sleep.
- Save your bed for sleeping. Your bed should be a trigger for sleep. This means that you shouldn’t use your bed to work, study, or use your computer during the day or even right before bed. It’s important to maintain a strong association between your bed and resting or sleep.
- If you aren’t falling asleep, get up and try again. Getting up and out of bed once you lay down can seem like an annoyance, but if you are tossing and turning or unable to fall asleep, don’t stay in bed. Your bed is a place for sleep so if you are restless, leave the bedroom and return when you are ready to sleep.
If you find that you are still having trouble falling or staying asleep, or still feeling tired during the day you could be suffering from a sleep disorder that left untreated can increase mental and physical health problems including depression, high blood pressure, workplace injuries or car accidents, and can put you at a much higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
If you believe you might have a sleeping disorder, call the Crittenton Sleep Center or review the questionnaire on their webpage. The Center will help diagnose your condition and work with you on the treatment options to help you regain restful sleep.