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Looking for Things to Help You Sleep? Try These!


YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER from chronic insomnia to know what it’s like to have trouble falling asleep — it happens to everyone, and it’s no fun at all. As you watch the clock tick down the ever-diminishing amount of time you have left to catch some shut-eye before the alarm goes off, you may be wondering what, if anything, you could have done differently.

The thing about sleep — especially when it’s elusive — is that there aren’t many quick fixes. What you can do, however, is change your routine before bedtime to train your body to relax and be ready for rest. Here’s how to do it.

Healthy Sleep Habits You Need to Cultivate

The whole point of developing a sleep routine is to maintain your natural sleep pattern and train your body to recognize when it’s time to slow down and rest. Some important things to help you sleep happen throughout the day: Good sleep hygiene is an all-day event.

    • Wake up and turn in at the same time each day. Keeping your sleep pattern regular is crucial for good sleep. When you wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, you’ll feel tired when you should. Sleeping in on the weekends is tempting, but it’s better in the long run to get up at your regular time and enjoy a walk instead.
    • Skip the naps. If you feel sluggish in the middle of the day, try having a protein-packed snack or getting a little exercise to pep you up. Taking a nap can alter your sleep patterns and lead to you feeling wide-awake after the sun goes down.
    • Harness the power of light. When you wake in the morning, open the blinds and turn on the lights to trigger your circadian rhythms to wake you up. Likewise, try dimming the lights and avoiding the glare of your smartphone or tablet the hour or two before bedtime so your body is cued to start powering down.
    • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Stimulants after dinnertime are a no-no. They’ll keep you awake past the point when your natural rhythms should be kicking in to make you feel drowsy, and the effects can snowball well into the next day. A cup of warm milk or chamomile tea is a much better choice.

Develop a Sleep Ritual

Parents know experts recommend following the same routine each night when putting a child to bed. It helps the child to recognize that it’s time for sleeping. The same mental tricks work for adults. Choose a few of the following things to do in the hour before you turn out the light:

    • Stop work and social media
    • Read a book
    • Sip a warm drink or enjoy a light bedtime snack
    • Take a warm shower or bath
    • Give yourself a hand or foot massage
    • Practice yoga or do some gentle stretching
    • Pray or meditate
    • Write down your thoughts in a journal

You don’t have to do all of these things to reap the benefits. Just choose the ones you find most relaxing and do them in the same order each and every night. Soon you’ll train your brain to be tired when you start your bedtime routine. With a little practice, you’ll find yourself stifling a yawn when you just think about starting your bedtime routine, and you’ll drop off to sleep with ease.

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