From Tossing to Snoozing:
Practical Tips to Enhance Your Sleep
Instead of falling asleep, do you instead spend your nights tossing and turning? And when you wake up, do you still feel tired and weary, uncomfortable and frustrated? Some of the key factors responsible for determining whether you toss and turn rather than snooze peacefully include stress, overstimulation, and anxiety.
However, older people can face disrupted sleep and exhausted mornings more as sleep patterns tend to change with age. The internal clock that helps a body respond to light and dark undergoes a change with age. Eventually, older people may find it difficult to fall asleep easily.
On the other hand, women are known to suffer from restless nights during the menopause. Unfortunately, the fact is that everyone suffers from trouble sleeping from time to time due to various reasons. However, trouble sleeping can become a major concern when it turns into a severe condition like insomnia.
Insomnia patients may eventually turn to sleep aids or dietary supplements from brands like The Root Brands to get proper sleep. However, before turning to such aids or pills, you should first try some natural alternatives to get better sleep at night.
Below are some of the best practical tips you can follow to deal with tossing and turning during nighttime sleep so you feel more refreshed the next day. Let’s take a look at them!
7 Practical Tips for Enhancing Your Sleep
1. Maintain a Strict, Consistent Sleep Schedule
Circadian rhythms, commonly known as our ‘internal clock’, help our body respond to changes in light and the environment. Similarly, this internal clock orders your body while waking up and falling asleep. So, if any of these daily functions are disturbed, it can affect the circadian rhythms.
One of the best ways to ensure the proper functioning of your internal clock is by maintaining a proper wake time and bedtime. Our brains work in a specific way, and a proper routine helps them function and dictate properly. When you don’t follow a set routine, your brain can get confused and start dictating in its own way.
So when you set and follow a proper bedtime schedule, your brain will become habituated to the time you have set and dictates to the body accordingly.
2. Don’t consume caffeine or alcohol before bed
Wine, chocolate, coffee, or anything containing caffeine shouldn’t be taken before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you dozy but will disturb your sleep at night.
It’s recommended not to consume caffeine at least four to six hours before sleep time. This will help your body fall asleep and relax properly. Experts also usually say not to eat anything too spicy or acidic before sleeping, as these foods can cause heartburn.
Among the countless health benefits of regular exercise, sleep is one of the most significant ones. No issues if you can’t make time to go to the gym daily as you can workout at home, and this can be as beneficial as going to a gym.
Set a routine to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes every morning, or anytime convenient, and follow it consistently. Regular exercise will improve your quality of sleep.
However, don’t workout within two to three hours of your sleep time. While exercising, the adrenaline hormone (epinephrine) is released, which boosts your heart rate, and this can disrupt your sleep. Just make sure that your body has sufficient time to remove excess adrenaline from your system before you try to sleep.
Our body is known to have natural sleep hormones like melatonin, and the effectiveness of these hormones increases with exercise.
The journal Sleep published a study of postmenopausal women who used to workout for nearly three-and-a-half hours every week. These women were found to fall asleep more easily than those who didn’t exercise that often.
So, try to exercise daily, maintaining a specific duration of time. Remember not to workout close to bedtime. The best workout time is usually in the morning, as bright daylight aids in the natural functioning of the internal clock.
4. Take a bath or shower
The pleasure of taking a warm shower is on another level. As the warm water falls on your body, it loosens the neck and drops the shoulders. You feel relaxed and soothed, which can eventually put your body and mind at ease.
Moreover, bathing is also known to help regulate sleep temperature. While sleeping, a body’s external temperature increases while its internal temperature decreases. A warm bath or shower stimulates this temperature-regulating process.
On the other hand, if it’s your regular habit to take a bath or shower before bedtime, this will signal to your brain brain that you are due to go to sleep now.
Another excellent way to relax and release stress is through meditation. Before laying down at night for sleep, just sit in a stationary, upright position and concentrate on your breathing. You will feel a calmness in your mind, which is significant while sleeping.
Meditation can be a part of both your morning and bedtime routines.
6. Avoid eating too much before bedtime
This is an important consideration as an overly full stomach can make you feel uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. It is better not to consume a heavy meal three to four hours before sleep.
In case you are hungry before bedtime, you can eat a small snack to keep your stomach happy until breakfast.
7. Keep your bedroom comfortable
It’s important to maintain a comfortable ambiance in your bedroom, as it will influence your sleep quality. So, keep the bedroom cozy as much as possible, keeping it dark, quiet, and cool. Such setups will encourage the onset of sleep.
Tossing and turning at night while trying to sleep is distressing. If you face this daily at night, follow the above-mentioned tips, as they can help you fall asleep easily and improve sleep quality. Sufficient, quality sleep is necessary for both your physical and mental health so you must develop proper bedtime routines to train your body and mind for healthy sleep.
About the Author
Keith Dean is an independent researcher and avid writer for several niches including Health and Fitness. He is a contributor to several publications including Men’s Health and verywellfit. He enjoys breaking down complex topics into actionable content.