It’s an unfortunate fact of life that everyone at some point or another, will experience the struggle of trying to fall asleep at night.
For some, the course of the problem could be stress-induced and therefore a temporary annoyance that will pass with time. For others, insomnia could quite literally be ruining your chances of getting a good, much needed rest almost every evening.
Regardless of how frequently you toss and turn in bed, you deserve regular, good quality nights sleep and rest…. after all, a good rest is just as essential to your body as food and water!
No doubt at one point or another you’ve probably counted enough sheep to start your own farm – so to prevent that in the future, here are some of our top tips, and ideas for changes you can make to make drifting off to sleep much, much easier.
Sleep In A Cold Room
Your bodies internal temperature drops on a night, so entering a cold bedroom signals to your brain that it’s time to wind down and get ready to sleep. We recommend turning down your thermostat at night, or, if you live with others who might not agree with that idea, turning down the temperature of your bedroom’s radiator.
If you’re unable to adjust the temperature on the thermostat or your radiator, you could try:
- drinking some water before getting into bed
- helping air circulate by using a fan or leaving your window open a small amount
- sleeping with a lower tog duvet – the lower the number, the less insulated you will be
There’s also no denying the comfort of being bundled up beneath a soft duvet in your bed. And there’s not much worse than the struggle of trying to stay both comfortable and cool on a stuffy summer’s night. Making your room just a little bit cooler will in turn make your bed just a little more inviting, comfortable and warm.
Use Your Bedroom For Sleeping ONLY!
If you’re one of many that eats, works and relaxes from their bed, you could be disrupting your sleep without realising it! If you engage in activities besides sleeping in your bedroom, your brain will begin to associate your bedroom as the place where you are mentally alert and entertained as opposed to the place where you should rest and sleep.
Do yourself a favour and remove any potential temptations out of your room. By physically moving any TVs, games consoles, computers and other devices to a more appropriate and active area of the house, such as a living room, you will begin to settle into a much better sleep routine in no time. We know it’s tempting, but don’t eat in your bed either – this way you also avoid getting crumbs and mess all over your sheets, too!
Tell yourself that your bedroom is for sleeping only and rearrange accordingly.
Adjust The Display Settings On Your Phone
On a similar note to the previous tip, another reason to limit your exposure to electronics on a night is that they can potentially be damaging to your eyes. Most electronics emit blue light which disrupts your circadian rhythm – your body’s biological clock that determines when you should go to sleep and be awake. Blue light keeps you awake and alert and has even been linked to diabetes, obesity and cancer by Harvard University.
If you simply cannot avoid taking your phone to bed, there are ways to adjust the display settings to at least make the screen kinder on your eyes.
Most modern smart phones and even laptops running Windows 10 have an option in the settings designed to make the harsh blue light a warmer yellow tone. On iPhones this feature is called Night Shift and on Android phones and Windows 10 PCs it is called Night Light. You can usually schedule this feature to turn on automatically. This will be much gentler on your eyes and reduce the harm that looking at your phone can cause.
Additionally, you could enable Do Not Disturb on your smartphone to limit notifications on a night. This will discourage you from picking up your phone every time a notification pops up.
Listen To Relaxing Audio
If you are a light sleeper or easily disturbed, there are a variety of ways that you can create a sound barrier between you and any potential disruptions, potentially greatly increasing your sleep quality.
Perhaps you are one of the people who experiences ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), a pleasant tingling in your body in response to certain audio ‘triggers’. There are millions of videos on YouTube designed to give you ‘tingles’ to help you relax and sleep. Grab a pair of headphones, search ASMR on YouTube and give it a try!
If you like the concept of being spoken to, but don’t experience or enjoy the sensation of ASMR, there are many free audiobooks on YouTube, or subscription services such as Audible. Being read to can be incredibly relaxing, just ask any child. Just don’t pick a book too exciting or entertaining – you might find yourself actively listening to try and find out what happens next!
If spoken words are too distracting for you, there are more natural sounds that could usher you into a peaceful sleep. We at Fuzzable recommend the free app Rain Rain. It gives users a large variety of sounds to choose from – from rain against a window, to gentle thunder, to waves lapping on a beach. Not only that, you can select up to three sounds to play at any given time to create your ideal soundscape and further adjust settings from there. The catalogue of sounds available for free is very impressive. Either play the audio out loud for a more natural sound or directly through headphones to block other sounds more efficiently.
Wake Up Earlier
It might sound simple but making a habit of waking up early each morning (even on weekends) maximises how much you can do in the day. The more you do throughout the day, the more tired you will be by the evening!
Give yourself a reason to get up each morning and remind yourself of everything you can do in those extra few hours. For example, you will have longer to prepare and get ready for the day ahead – having extra time to organise yourself and what you have to do each day has great mental benefits. You could take up early morning exercise, either at a gym or pool or even just in your living room. Or it could even be as simple as watching the sun rise with a delicious breakfast.
By waking up earlier, you will want to be in bed earlier. Keep this up every day, even on days where you don’t have commitments. Your body will be grateful for the routine and it will become a habit in no time!
Be Kind To Yourself
We’ve all experienced those nights where all you can do is wrestle with your duvet as you become increasingly annoyed at how you can’t sleep, but doing this might actually be what is keeping you awake. Don’t beat yourself up emotionally for being unable to sleep, be kind to yourself.
A way of overcoming this is by taking a pen and paper and writing down everything that is causing you stress. What are you worried about? What is causing you to be stressed? What negative emotions are you feeling? Take a few calm moments to write these down on a piece of paper, not your phone. This will help you process how you are feeling and move the negative thoughts from your mind to the physical paper. Once you have written these thoughts down, do some deep breathing. Remind yourself that these are problems for another time and that right now is your time to relax. The problems can be dealt with in the morning.
This might not be an instant fix, but it is important to be patient with yourself and create a peaceful environment for yourself.
We hope these changes can make a big impact to your sleep and that you’ll be out like a light in no time. However, if your sleep problems are severe and affecting your health, please consult your doctor.