Sleep is good for the mind, body and soul, but it isn't always easy to achieve. Some people struggle to sleep night after night. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to help the body fall asleep. If you suffer from insomnia or simply have a hard time falling asleep, these tips can help.
Sleep in a Dark Room
Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps your body sleep. Although sleeping with a mask over the eyes can help, skin cells have photoelectric sensors that can detect presence of light in a room even when the eyes can see only darkness. The best way to get a good night's rest is to sleep in complete darkness. This can be done by installing a good set of blinds or light-blocking curtains.
Warm temperatures can raise the body temperature, which in turn can interfere with the production of melatonin. Lower the temperature in your home in the evenings, and avoid wearing heavy or restrictive clothing. You'll love how well you sleep when wearing light pajamas in a cool room.
Put the Technology Away
Television, tablets, smart phones and computers are tempting to watch, but they can also be disruptive. Blue light from your television simulates daylight, which in turn can make your body feel artificially energized. To avoid this problem, turn off your electronic devices at least half an hour before going to bed.
Focus on Deep Breathing
Deep breathing helps to calm the nerves and relax the body. Either before going to bed or immediately after lying down, take several deep breaths to help you relax. As you breathe deeply, feel the muscles in your body starting to become flexible and loose. Focus on deep breathing every night when trying to fall asleep.
Lay off the Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine is a stimulant that disrupts the sleep process. Studies find that coffee consumed even 6 hours before bed time can reduce the amount of sleep by as much as 1 hour. For most people, the best way to prevent problems is to avoid coffee after about two o'clock in the afternoon.
Alcohol presents a similar problem. Although alcohol is a depressant that encourages sleep at the beginning of the evening, the body metabolizes alcohol later in the evening. This can disrupt the sleep cycle late at night. To encourage real sleep at night, drink warm milk to relax the muscles and help encourage a feeling of being sleepy.
Sleeping in uncomfortable pajamas can make falling asleep difficult. The best way to avoid problems is to wear comfortable, breathable, loose-fitting athleisure. It's important to wear clothes that are not too warm, so look for nightwear made of ultra thin material. Fibers can be natural or synthetic, but most important is that they are breathable. Try on the clothes before deciding for sure whether or not to wear them to bed. This will give you a good sense of whether or not the clothes are right for sleeping.