Sleep is an essential exercise for every living thing. There are animals that sleep 20 hours a day, others get 14.5 hours of shut eye. Sleep is nature’s way of telling you to shut down, refresh and fortify your body.
Sleep is not an option, it’s a requirement. If you are not sleeping when you should, then you are just increasing your chances of breaking down very soon.
People have different sleeping habits but most importantly you must sleep regardless of how your sleep schedule is structured. Here are some of the things to do when you can’t sleep.
Things to do when you can’t sleep
One very important thing that affects our sleep is diet. Not just what you eat but when you eat it can affect your sleep. It is important to eat 3 hours before your bedtime. Eating close to your bedtime can disrupt your sleep pattern. So make sure you are eating at the right time during the day.
Control your diet. Eat light when you are getting close to sleeping time. Also avoid foods that will keep you up like spicy foods and caffeine. Chamomile tea has been known to enhance sleep. Try foods like that.
Some medications can also affect sleep. So if you are taking in any medication that has an effect on sleep, make sure to take it long before your bedtime.
Sleep requires a clear mind. Forget your worries, get something to distract you from a troubled mind.
Listen to some soothing music or voices, something that will relax your mind and keep you from thinking excessively. Breathing and relaxation procedures can also help you to clear your mind.
Don’t force sleep
When you find yourself tossing and turning after about 30 minutes of attempted sleep, its about time to get up and do something else. Don’t force yourself to sleep if you can’t sleep. It just means that your body is not completely ready to sleep or shut down.
Do some other activity. You may not be tired or sleepy enough. Your bed should not remind of wakefulness but rather sleepiness. Avoid staying up late or awake in bed for long periods.
It has been suggested that white noise puts babies to sleep, because it gives them acoustic notes that remind them of their time in the womb. It is how they stay asleep despite all outside noise and mother’s movement.
For adults white noise can equally be beneficial. When there is complete silence, the slightest sound can wake you up. But white noise provides a steady soothing sound that fills silence with something subtle. So you can get a white noise machine for use when you can’t sleep.
Try reading if you can’t sleep. Reading can be a good knockout gas. Pick a book with a subtle story that doesn’t excite too much. Stories that do not really intrigue and keep you awake. These books just carry your attention just enough for you to drift off in a little while.
Create a sleep environment
Keep your bedroom serene. Some people have been known to avoid their bedroom since it would put them right to sleep. It’s the environment they have created in there.
Get an inviting bed, something like a duvet. Get pillows if that’s your preference. It will be difficult to fall asleep if there is bright light in the room, so put a dimmer in or use night lamps.
Use thick curtains for the bedroom to prevent outside light from passing through, that way you can easily fall asleep. Also, make sure your A/C makes no unwanted noise.
Eye mask and ear plugs
One is enough for most people but the two together is overkill. If you go with the two, make sure you plan to have an uninterrupted sleep for a long time. Again make sure your house is fully secure before you use both. Remember you are deliberately shutting down two senses. Be prepared for it.
Sex is a good knockout exercise. If your partner is willing, have some sex. Sex gets everyone a little tired and an orgasmic release puts the human body into a great relaxation mode.
Sleeping after sex is not too difficult as the body is already tired and you are both far too spent to do anything else.
Stay off social media
Get all the social activities out of your way at least 30 minutes before bedtime. That includes social media, meeting friends, calling friends and anything that requires your presence of mind.
Put your phone on silent. Don’t get hooked on any stories and plan to do nothing on your cell phone for at least 30 minutes before bed.
Take a hot shower or bath. Hot water bath massages your body and softens your skin. Your body then feels warm to touch of your sheets and you feel completely relaxed when your head hits the pillow.
Also avoid clothes that will make you feel hot or cold at night. Dress well for the weather and have a sound sleep without any interruptions