There is truly nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Some people have no problem falling asleep and can even do so sitting on the couch.
However, around 60 million Americans have difficulty sleeping on a given day. That’s a lot of staring at the ceiling and counting sheep. Unfortunately, this can lead to real health problems.
There are many benefits of knowing to sleep through the night. Do you yearn for a peaceful slumber that leaves you with energy in the morning? Keep reading for our five tips to get better sleep.
Offering to Hypnos
According to Greek mythology, Hypnos is the god of sleep. He is the son of Nyx, goddess of night, and Erebus, the god of darkness.
He lives in the underworld with his brother, Thanatos, the god of death. Despite this family tree and the fact he lived in a cave in the place where night and day meet, Hypnos is a kind and gentle god.
He helps people find rest. However, he fancies himself the ‘owner’ of half of all humans’ lives, given how much we sleep.
The Roman version is called Somnus. You can see the same root in the word ‘insomnia’. It is a common condition but it affects people very differently.
Although all of us might have a restless night every blue moon, chronic insomnia is a serious problem. It disproportionately affects the elderly and people with other medical conditions.
Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not being able to sleep can be a real nightmare (no pun intended). The tossing and turning, calculating how much time left before you have to wake up, and overall stress can cause serious anxiety.
However, it goes beyond feeling groggy and irritated. It can lead to chronic medical conditions.
Insomnia increases your risk for hypertension, diabetes, cognitive issues, depression, and even your overall mortality. These conditions, in turn, cause worsening insomnia and you can get caught in a cycle.
How to Improve Your Sleep
It’s time to stop ignoring your insomnia. There is no shame in not being able to fall asleep.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t working hard enough during the day. Before trying sleeping pills or alcohol, take a look in the mirror. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.
Read More: 5 Proven Benefits of Getting Better Sleep
1. Evaluate Your Sleeping Habits
Many people have the habit of just going to bed and waking up when they feel like it. If this works for you, that is fine. Otherwise, you might want to start paying attention and keeping track.
Are you going to bed at two in the morning? Waking up late? Or are you taking really long afternoon naps?
We recommend keeping a simple sleep journal. Also, record the food and drinks you consume, which brings us to our next point.
2. Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Yes, the products we consume can impact how we sleep. It’s probably a good idea to skip the afternoon coffee, if possible.
Logically, sugary and caffeinated drinks should be avoided after lunch and definitely are a no-no at night. But it doesn’t end there.
Even if you avoid sweets, your body breaks down much of the food you eat into glucose, a simple sugar. Avoid big meals at night. Drinking excess water can also keep you up.
3. Screen Time
The screens are our smartphones, tablets, TVs, and computers are often vilified. Some say they are bad for your vision, for example.
However, looking at a bright screen at night can also affect your sleeping patterns. This is because lights affect your circadian rhythm.
The screens can trick your body into thinking it’s daytime. It will increase the action of endogenous substances that keep you awake.
Sleeping to the Beat
Some people claim to be ‘night owls’ that just function better at night. Although some people might prefer to up at night, our bodies have a system wired to be awake during daylight.
The circadian rhythm is a naturally occurring cycle in people, animals, plants, fungi, and even some bacteria. It refers to a daily pattern of hormone and neurotransmitter secretion. Learn about and figure out how to improve sleep.
For example, ever notice how a lot of people have to go to the bathroom when they wake up in the morning? Our rhythm dictates that bowel movements are slow throughout the night.
4. Mechanics of Sleeping
Some people can fall asleep in any position on any type of furniture, no matter the surroundings. The rest of us tend to be more sensitive sleepers.
It might be possible that the conditions of where you sleep aren’t ideal. A dark, quiet place where you feel safe is essential to a restful sleep.
Is it too noisy, hot, cold, or otherwise uncomfortable? Sleeping on a couch with people around is not how to sleep well.
The Right Position
Are you a side-sleeper? If not, being one might be how to get better sleep naturally.
5. Talk to a Doctor
Sometimes, insomnia isn’t such a simple fix. Your inability to sleep might actually be due to something medical-related.
Are you taking a medication that could be keeping you up? Also, certain medical conditions can lead to insomnia. They can teach you how to get better sleep.
Ask your doctor if to reviews your treatments to see if they can find the culprit. Also, this is a good time to ask if you are at risk of having a condition that could cause insomnia.
Get Better Sleep and Feel Rested
There is nothing like crawling into bed after a nice, long day. You’re tired, have the fan on light, and you flip the pillow over to get to the cold side.
Learn how to get better sleep and stop stressing over it. Not only is sleeping important, but it’s also enjoyable. Learn how to sleep peacefully and live better. Visit the blog for more articles on health and science news.