10 Ways To Improve Sleep Tonight

Have you found yourself having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? Sleep is crucial for functioning during the day. Insomnia can make it difficult to be productive at work and home. It can also cause emotional problems. There are several strategies you can use tonight to improve your sleep.

1. Decrease your caffeine intake. Stop consuming caffeine at least 6 hours before you go to bed. Be mindful of medications that contain caffeine (i.e., Excedrin, Aspirin, etc.).

2. Exercise early in the day. Exercise helps regulate energy, appetite, and sleep. Even walking for 30 minutes helps. Contrary to popular belief, exercising close to bedtime can cause sleep problems because it creates a “second wind” that will boost your energy.

3. Don’t drink a lot of fluids before bed. Some people find that drinking fluids close to bedtime results in several trips to the bathroom.

4. Alcohol interferes with your sleep. While alcohol may cause you to fall asleep faster than usual, it disrupts your REM sleep.

5. Create a routine that you do consistently before bed each night. Routines help your body prepare for sleep. Got to bed and wake up around the same time daily. Also, do a set of tasks prior to going to bed. For example, brush your teeth, put your favorite lotion on, diffuse lavender oil, etc. These activities will start cuing your body to get tired and prepare for sleep.

6. Avoid electronic screens before bed. I know this is a difficult one for most people. It is so tempting to scroll through Facebook, but is it worth another sleepless night? Watch tv, scroll through your phone, etc. early in the evening. Switch to reading, listening to music, or listening to a podcast before bed.

7. Stop taking naps!! This is crucial. Naps confuse your brain and mess with your sleep cycle. I realize this is easier said than done, but it will be worth it in the long run.

8. Manage stress by using healthy coping skills throughout the day. If you are having difficulty with racing thoughts at night, schedule a session with me and we can work on relaxation strategies or address the concerns keeping you awake.

9. Don’t engage in stressful activities before bed. Paying the bills, having a difficult conversation with your significant other, etc. before bed will make it difficult for you to obtain restful sleep. Save these activities for earlier in the day.

10. Create an environment conducive to sleep. Make your room dark and block out sounds with white noise (i.e., a fan or noise machine) to improve sleep.

For more help with insomnia, schedule an appointment with Lasting Serenity Counseling Services today.

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