How to sleep if you can’t sleep. It can be incredibly frustrating to constantly wake up during the night, or not even be able to get to sleep in the first place. Sometimes there’s no explanation for it either… making things worse.
Without even realising it, over the last 20 or so years, the amount and quality of sleep we are getting has declined.
Maybe it’s because of the fast-paced, time-consuming, stressful world that we live in today… or maybe it’s because the ever-evolving technologies that keep our brain constantly ticking.
Maybe it’s a bit of both.
If you can’t sleep and you’re wondering how to get to sleep, or if you’re just looking for how to sleep better… you’re in the right place.
How to Sleep if You Can’t Sleep.
1. Remove Alcohol, Refined Sugars, and Limit Caffeine.
Alcohol may be doing a lot of damage to your sleeping habits. In fact, alcohol is known to make the symptoms of sleep apnea WORSE, as well as altering your melatonin production, and leading to disturbed sleeping patterns.
The next food you’ll want to avoid is refined sugars. The more you eat, the more likely you are to wake up in the middle of the night and disrupt you. Forget about the after-dinner dessert. Think about how much better you’ll feel with a good sleep instead.
I’m sorry to say this to all the coffee lovers out there, but caffeine before bedtime can cause problems. Don’t get me wrong, coffee has numerous proven health benefits, but consuming caffeine past 4 PM may be one of the causes of why you can’t sleep properly.
If you’re a coffee addict and can’t go without the delicious taste, try decaf and see how you go. If it helps… It’s worth it (depending on how much you love your coffee).
2. Optimize Your Bedroom for Sleeping.
There’s a bunch of people out there who believe the way that you set up your bedroom is one of the keys to how we sleep, and they’re not wrong.
The primary factors to focus on for optimizing your bedroom for sleeping are lighting, sound, temperature, and furniture.
Lighting: Reduce light to a minimum inside your bedroom. Turn off all electronics with a standby light, and use block out curtains if needed.
Sound: While reducing light can be easy, sound may not be. Try to reduce as much sound as possible by turning off electronics, closing doors, etc. Sometimes reducing external sounds such as traffic isn’t possible without relocation.
Temperature: The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Furniture: Arrange your furniture in a pleasing way that is also clean. Pick up any dirty laundry, take out anything that shouldn’t be there. Also, remove anything that may be a distraction such as a T.V, laptop, etc.
3. Stop Eating, Drinking, and Watching Screens in the Evening.
Eating before bed can have a negative impact on your sleep, and even keep you awake longer than you want to be, especially if the food is loaded with sugar. Try not to late-night snack or have dinner to close to bedtime. If there’s no other option, keep the meal healthy and light.
We all know the feeling of waking up at 2:30 AM BUSTING for the toilet. The key to stopping this is drinking most of your fluids during the day time and having a cut-off point at night.
Depending on your size, bladder, and other factors, you’ll have to do some investigative work to find out when this cut off point is. Remember that food also contains water!
The last thing to remove before bed is ELECTRONIC DEVICES, which many of us are addicted to! Blue light from your smartphone or electronic screens will give your brain the impression that it’s still daytime.
4. Create a Sleeping Habit.
If you’re struggling with sleep, try and create a habit. Although creating a habit may take a long period of time, it’s worth it.
Set a time that you will go to bed – even if you don’t go to sleep straight away – let’s say 10:00 PM, which is my bed time.
Next, set and alarm for when you need to wake up.
It may be a little hard, and even frustrating when you first try to create a sleeping habit. You might find yourself counting sheep for an hour before finally drifting off to sleep.
Eventually you will create a habit, and you will be able to fall asleep quickly after entering your fully optimized bedroom.
After weeks, maybe months of creating a sleeping habit, you may not even require an alarm to wake up.
5. Consider a Melatonin Supplement.
Taking a melatonin supplement is kind of like “hacking” sleep. Basically, it is the hormone that says to your brain “it’s time we got some rest”.
It’s a very popular supplement for those who struggle with sleep, and is even used to treat insomnia.
A study found that just 2mg of melatonin prior to bed improved quality of sleep, and energy the following day, while also helping people to fall asleep faster. The added bonus is that there were no withdrawal effects reported. (Study)
It’s advised to check with a medical professional before use.
Leave a comment if you enjoyed How to Sleep if You Can’t Sleep, or have any questions!