If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, it could be directly related to some of your lifestyle habits. Some of these may seem innocuous, but could be contributing to your sleepless nights.
Activities that you find relaxing may be having the opposite effect on your brain without you even realizing it.
1. Avoid Screens Before Bed
It’s a good idea to avoid screens, such as televisions, smartphones, tablets, and back-lit e-readers in the hours before you lie down to go to sleep.
Many people get in the habit of watching TV or reading on their iPad before bed, but the light emitted from these devices can be detrimental to your ability to wind down for the evening. Instead, try a good old-fashioned book or a different activity that you find relaxing.
2. Get a Pet
This may sound like an odd tip for getting better sleep, but believe it or not, studies have shown that pet owners tend to sleep better.
In fact, according to one study, pet owners who let their pet sleep in bed with them sleep better than those who keep their pets out of bed, as well as those who don’t have pets at all. It’s something to think about.
3. Eat More Fish
There are quite a few dietary adjustments that can be made in favor of a better night’s sleep, but eating more of certain kinds of fish can be hugely beneficial. Salmon, halibut and tuna are particularly good sources of vitamin B6, which your body uses to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Working these into your diet can go a long way.
In the protein department, chicken, turkey, and almonds are also good foods to try for sleep purposes.
4. Drink More Tea
Yes, drinking tea can help, but not just any tea. You certainly don’t want to load up on caffeine, so that obviously eliminates many varieties. Ideally, you should stick with teas like chamomile, passion fruit, or lemon, ginger, and honey tea, which have a calming effect and can help you rest easy at night.
With or without the tea, you’ll want to avoid sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages close to bedtime.
5. Stick to a Schedule
Simply keeping your body on a regular sleep schedule can work wonders. This means getting up at the same time every morning, going to bed at the same time each night, and avoiding naps in between. If a nap is necessary, try to do it earlier in the day and keep it to a half hour at most.
Getting plenty of sunlight in the morning and throughout the day can also help your sleep-wake cycle so your body knows to associate the nighttime with sleep.
If none of these tips help, make sure you’re getting enough exercise. This is among the most important lifestyle elements to getting a healthy amount of sleep each night, not to mention the positive effects it has on your body in general.
Guest post written by Jim Vogel: Jim and his wife, Caroline, created ElderAction.org after they began caring for their ailing parents. Through that rewarding and sometimes difficult process they’ve learned a lot about senior care and specifically the need for more effective senior mental health and support. Their site offers elder-positive resources and other helpful information on aging. In his spare time, Jim loves fishing, reading, and spending time with his kids.
To Sleep; Per Chance To Dream: