Sleep is one of the most important yet most uncontrollable aspects of our daily lives. You can’t exactly muscle your way into better sleep or buy a magical evening elixir to cure you of your restlessness.
So how do you tame the ultimate beast?
With these four easy solutions to some of the most common sleep problems, that’s how! It’s not too late to change your lifestyle for the better—even as the clock strikes 3:00 a.m. and you’re still counting sheep.
#1 – Consistency is Key
This phrase can be applied to most things, but perhaps sleep above all else. A solid sleep routine can fix a ton of everyday issues, but you have to be willing to commit to it:
- Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day
- Get out of bed when your alarm sounds rather than slamming the snooze button (again)
- Limit your daytime napping, especially after 5:00 p.m. or so
- When you do need a quick refresh, stick to 15-20 minute naps
Record your daily sleep routine in a notebook to track your progress. You can also discern which changes are yielding positive results and which don’t seem to have any real impact.
#2 – Improve Your Sleep Setup
You want a quick fix for your sleep issues, but are you setting yourself up for success? Or is your bedroom a sauna, your mattress is lumpy, and you’re dead set on sleeping on your stomach, of all positions?
You might be surprised at how much of a difference your sleeping posture can make (hint: a big difference).
Experts recommend laying on your left side with your head and shoulders slightly elevated, but a new sleeping position doesn’t come naturally—it takes time to form a habit. One easy fix is purchasing a specially-formulated pillow for acid reflux and other common sleep problems like poor limb circulation, a sore back, and interrupted sleep.
#3 – Cut the Bad Habits
We all have our vices—it’s part of being human. And while a few bad habits don’t make you a bad person, they might be causing your bad sleep.
Try and cut back on the following to see if you notice improved rest:
- Caffeine after 1:00 p.m. or so
- Heavy, greasy meals late at night
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking
- Hours and hours of television or cellphone use right before bed
You don’t have to change everything overnight, but make a concerted effort to shift the habit needle away from downright disastrous towards beneficial bedtime behaviors.
#4 – Take it Easy Before Bed
Sleep is a time for rest, relaxation, and the ultimate reset. The time leading up to your slumber should be just as peaceful and calming.
Yup, that means no scary movies, late-night workouts, or midnight cleaning sprees.
Instead, try to unwind before bedtime with calming activities:
- Put on your comfiest PJs and read in bed
- De-stress with a steamy bubble bath
- Listen to your favorite music (the acoustic soulful stuff, not the heavy metal jams)
- Talk to a loved one on the phone
- Run through a few low-key yoga poses
If you find yourself swirling in a sea of worries, fears, and negative thoughts, consider talking a natural supplement like CBD or Melatonin.
No Such Thing As A Quick Fix
Unfortunately, sleep problems are as temperamental as a toddler during their Terrible Twos. One night you’re sleeping straight through ‘til morning, the next you can’t find a comfortable position to save your life.
But once again, consistency is key (it really does apply to everything). If you make the effort in all aspects of your life, you’ll rid yourself of your sleep setbacks before you know it.
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