You’d think that being tired would be enough to help you drift off to sleep when you go to bed. Unfortunately for many people, that’s simply not the case. If you find yourself lying in bed and not being able to sleep, even though you’re tired, it’s time to change your bedtime routine and your daytime habits. Here’s how to finally get the rest you need.
Use Your Bed the Way it Should Be Used
If you associate your bed with sleep, it’s easier to rest when you get in it. On the other hand, if you work, eat, watch TV or do other activities in bed, your brain becomes conditioned to doing those things, making it hard to sleep when it’s time. Experts suggest saving your bed for sex and sleeping only. Anything else should be done outside the bedroom so that your brain associates your bed with sleep and winds down when you get into it.
Choose the Right Mattress
Your mattress plays a huge role in how much you sleep and how easy you fall asleep. The right mattress for you depends on several factors, including your health and whether you sleep alone or with a partner. The best mattress is also determined by your budget so check out the top mattress pick by GQ. They review many mattresses to enable you to pick from their favorite mattresses for your sleeping style and price.
Experts say that drinking caffeine after about 2:00pm can keep you from being tired when it’s bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why so many people drink coffee in the morning to wake up. But having caffeine in your system after lunch can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to switch to water or decaffeinated drinks in the afternoon. That means soda, coffee, some kinds of tea, chai and hot chocolate should be limited or skipped altogether.
Nap the Right Way
Napping doesn’t have to interfere with night-time sleep, but it can if you don’t do it the right way. For the most benefit, be sure you keep your naps under 20 minutes and before 3:00pm. It’s also a good idea to give yourself a chance to wake up fully before you resume your daytime activities. A nap is ideal for helping you get over that mid-afternoon slump, but if you sleep for too long, you’ll have difficulty drifting off at bedtime, which can make you feel tired the next day.
Try Relaxation Techniques
If the reason you can’t sleep at night is that you can’t relax, there are some relaxation techniques that can help. Deep breathing is one of the best methods because you don’t need any equipment and can do it right in your bed. Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, exhale for eight seconds, and repeat. Guided imagery also helps and involves focusing on a certain experience until you fall asleep. Progressive relaxation and biofeedback are also helpful techniques and can be used before bed to help you get into a sleepy state so you can rest all night long.