We have all been in there: tossing and turning at night because you can't fall asleep. Many things, even the most insignificant things are on your mind and no matter how you try not to pay attention to these thoughts they distract you from falling into sleep. I can easily relate to this. I have always been a "bad sleeper" whatever the term suggests.. However, within past few years I have studied about how to improve my sleep at night and I have made some progress. Before my sleeping habits were somewhat following:
- On workdays I went to bed at 10 or 11 pm.
- My evening routines were like this: coming home from practice around 8 pm, having dinner, going to the shower and watching TV until 10 pm, sometimes even later.
- During the weekends I stayed up late: went to bed around 11 or 12 pm. I slept until 10 or 11 am.
- I didn't try to relax myself more in the evenings and especially on Sundays I felt anxious to go to bed around 9 or 10pm because I wasn't tired and I knew I would have hard time to fall asleep.
- I drank my afternoon coffee around 2-3 pm.
Now come to think all of my previous "routines", no wonder I had difficulties in falling asleep!
What have I done to in order to sleep better:
- I have almost the same routines during workdays and weekends.
- I have developed evening routines: I don't train after 6 pm in the evenings, I make sure that I have some quiet me time in the evenings after my son goes to bed (usually around 7pm). I don't use my phone or Ipad after 7.30 pm because the blue light affects my sleep. I go upstairs to my bed 9pm at the latest and I read a book. I switch off the lights WHEN I'm tired. If I feel like I cannot fall asleep, I continue reading.
- If something still troubles me, I'll write it down. In the morning I'll get back to it. This helps a lot!
- Our bedroom's temperature is 18-19 degrees and we have dark curtains in our bedroom.
- I take Magnesium * before I hit the sack. Magnesium is like my "sleeping pill" and does wonders to your sleep. Magnesium helps my body to relax and therefore it helps me to fall asleep faster. Magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which is important to your sleep.
- I massage or stretch my legs and feet. This also helps my body to relax and get ready for bed. It is all about the night-time routines!
- I don't drink coffee anymore regularly or any other caffeine beverage after 1 pm.
- In the evenings I sit and write my gratitude journal and drink my evening tea, such as ginger * or Detox* tea (as long as it doesn't have caffeine on it).
- If somehow I have troubles in falling asleep (and I know this beforehand) I'll take Melatonin*. Also if I have jet lag or have been travelling just before bedtime, I'll take it as a precaution. I found that this has helped me to sleep better. However, as I am "against" all unnecessary medicine and would prefer to handle my "problems" naturally, you shouldn't use Melatonin regularly although it is a 'natural' hormone and sleep aid.
For further reading:
Here is a good post about how to improve your sleep naturally. Here you can read about natural sleep remedies. This is a very informative web site about sleep in general.
Have a good nights sleep,
*These are affiliate links.