Do you sleep poorly several times a week?
Do you feel tired all the time?
Nobody wants to struggle with sleep.
Everybody wants to sleep like a baby.
Sometimes all we need is to follow a few tips.
In case you are struggling as I did, the following tips have the potential to change your life.
I was not sleeping poorly one night a week; I was sleeping poorly every single night.
I slept so bad that I forgot how it felt to be well-rested.
During the day, as I was tired and thinking about sleep. At night I felt exhausted, but I could not sleep. I stayed in the what I call “not-sleeping-not-awake-zone: laying in bed, knowing that I am not awake and being unable to move my body, but knowing, that I am not sleeping.
And after a few hours staying in the not-sleeping-not-awake-zone, the alarm went off. I pushed it down, and then, as exhausted as I was, I finally fell asleep.
But just till the next alarm went off a few minutes alter that urged me to stand up.
I woke up and just wanted to sleep.
I was not lazy.
I did want to make the best out of my day, but I couldn’t
My body told me that I need more sleep.
If that sounds familiar to you, I tell you, you are not alone. As you see, I have been there, and a lot of people are there, too.
So, what do you have to change, to sleep better?
1. First of all, change your routines.
Our body likes routines. Establishing an evening routine is crucial when you want to sleep like a baby. In a way, all the following tips are about finding your routine.
What are the points that should be included and what should be excluded?
Included: everything you like, that tranquilizes you
For example: Candles, a hot shower, a sleeping tea.
Excluded: anything that stresses your nervous system.
For example: blue light, food.
One thing should your routine contain: going to bed at the same time every day. Go to bed one months in a row at 23 pm. And your body will tell you after a month at 23 pm by itself, that you are tired.
Giving your body that, is crucial to sleep better.
Meditation played for me the most significant part in sleeping better.
Meditation cured the root of me sleeping bad – I overthought things, and I thought too much about sleep.
A thinking mind is not a quiet mind; a thinking mind is active. Thinking about sleep is the worst thing you can do.
Through meditation, you live more at the moment.
To meditate I use the App Headspace, and I am satisfied.
Headspace contains sleeping session that you can listen to every night. It will tranquilize you, but that is just a short-term solution.
A 30-day pack about sleep will help you long-term.
Luckily meditation and mental health is a trend so that there are a lot of different Apps out there.
3. Avoid certain food
I don’t know about you, but I like eating. I love Fitness and Bodybuilding, so I do my best to eat healthy food.
However, at night when the willpower is the weakest I tend to eat a lot, and even worse, a lot of bullshit.
Sweets, Chips, Burger, literally all I can get.
Eating like that before going to sleep is like begging for a sleepless night.
The body works on processing the food.
Avoiding caffeine drinks, big meals, spicy food and food that contains sugar is key.
Eating cherries daily will help you to sleep longer because they contain melatonin.
But don’t get it wrong, cherry liquor does not count. Alcohol may help you to go to sleep in the first place, but the quality of your sleep is much worse.
4. Beds are made for sleeping
The bed is designed for sleeping. What you are doing during the day on your bed influences your subconscious mind. When you spend time in your bed to watch videos, to eat, or whatever you may do, do this better on the sofa.
Otherwise, your subconscious mind correlates the bed with the things you do, and not with sleep.
5. Take time out of your day to think
Every human being has experienced this.
During the day we are too busy to think, and one second after laying down to sleep our mind is firing thoughts.
Most of the time we think about problems, about our relationships, about the future or the past.
If you take time out of your day to think actively about what is on your mind, you will solve things or at least got ideas to address them in the future.
They won’t pop up at night when you lay in your bed.
6. Take naps
When I started taking naps, I viewed them as training sessions for the real night sleep. You close your eyes, and when you struggle with sleep, you will not fall asleep during nap time. But you train to close the eyes and sleep, and if your mind is firing thoughts, you may use the naptime as your 20 minute thinking time, not bad at all.
In my experience, naps really can be useful, and our culture should promote naps instead of energy drinks, resting for 20 minutes, will boost your energy more than stimulating your tired body.
Reading is one of my favorite things in the world. I usually read before I go to bed even though watching a series or watching youtube is a temptation. Books can be fascinating as well, when you ask me, even more than series.
Books put you easier to sleep. Your brain has a task by creating a picture of the words you read. After a long day, that is tiring and makes it impossible to think about problems.
However, as well it depends on the genre you read. When you read Stephen King, it will be more challenging to go to sleep. Biographies usually work the best.
8. The last and most important thing: Your mobile phone
Put your phone on flight mode and put it out of your room!
We live in a world where we can get messages every second. We can see what our friends in Chile or the United States are doing because social media and time shift make it possible.
But because we are available at all time, our subconscious mind wants to check messages.
My tip: put your mobile phone on flight mode and put it out of your bedroom, because the bedroom is where your bed is, and a bed, well you know it, is not designed for mobile phones, it is designed for you, to sleep.
When your mobile phone is out of sight, your mind forgets about it after a few minutes. Sounds not realistic?
(Enjoying time without your mobile phone is key. I wrote a text about the 7 days I spent without a mobile phone; I link you the text here.)
Remember, change does not come overnight. Transforming your sleeping habits will take day by day and night by night.
I had to put in a lot of time to sleep better, but now I sleep like a baby.
At some point, I thought that this is impossible.
Some of the tips I picked up by myself, some through watching videos and some through reading the book: The sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington. (The things that sounded scientific I took mainly from that book.) I can recommend it by any means.
I highly appreciate that you took time out of your day to read my text! I am stunned by you paying attention, thank you!
If you found this article helpful, consider sharing so it can reach others as well.
Enjoy your day and never forget to smile 😊
Also published on Medium.