For many people, getting a good night's sleep comes naturally without effort. But, if you're one of the millions of Americans who have trouble sleeping or don't get enough sleep, it can be frustrating to find ways to improve your sleep habits. So here are some tips to help if you can't sleep.
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Create A Good Night's Sleep Routine
The first step to getting better sleep is creating a sleep routine that prepares your body and mind for sleep. Keep in mind that a good night's sleep requires more than just lying down and closing your eyes. To ensure quality rest, create a pre-sleep routine that allows your body time to unwind and prepare for shut-eye. This can be as simple as washing your face or brushing your teeth before bed. Another effective pre-sleep ritual is keeping an electronic device out of reach before bedtime; these devices have been linked to shorter sleeping duration and increased fatigue throughout the day.
Pick The Best Pillow For You
Pillows aren't all made equally, so finding one that fits your needs is key to a good night's sleep. For example, if you toss and turn a lot at night or often wake up with a stiff neck, you should look for a pillow that offers support while contouring your body. Memory foam and latex pillows are both popular options due to their ability to mold to your head and neck. Some of these options even come filled with substances like buckwheat hulls or extra padding to conform better to your sleeping position. Read more on how to find the best pillow!
Organize Your Mind, Make a To-Do List
Sometimes, our minds are just too cluttered to fall asleep—and that's when it's time to take out a pen and paper. While you might feel more pressured during your typical day-to-day schedule, taking 15 minutes at night to make a list of things you need to accomplish tomorrow can be surprisingly helpful. It keeps your mind organized while preparing you for what lies ahead—all without inducing additional stress from not being able to fall asleep.
Drinking Enough Water Can Help You Sleep
Water accounts for up to 60 percent of the human body, and it helps with a wide variety of bodily functions. And that could include your quality of sleep!
There is limited research on the relationship between hydration and sleep. But the evidence so far suggests a connection between the two, with shorter sleep durations associated with lower hydration status.
While you probably know that you need to drink water to stay hydrated, drinking more than just enough can help with sleep. For a well-rested night, aim to drink at least four 8-ounce glasses of water throughout your day and night. However, make sure not to drink too much before bed as your body won't have time to process it. Finding the right balance of fluid intake can improve overall health and may contribute to better sleep without numerous trips to the bathroom or waking up feeling dehydrated.
Should I Take Sleeping Pills?
Sleeping pills have a bad reputation because of reports about serious complications, including death. A study by Professor Heather Ashton of Newcastle University found that sleeping pills can have adverse effects, with many over-the-counter remedies causing dangerous side effects if not taken correctly. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued new guidelines warning people against relying on sleeping tablets to get to sleep and recommending they try other, safer remedies first. They also advise people suffering from chronic insomnia to speak to their doctor before taking any medication at all. Although sleeping pills aren't without risks, they could be appropriate for short-term use if prescribed by your doctor and used appropriately.
What are some tips you use when you can't sleep? Leave a comment!
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Philippians 4:19 (ESV)