Vince Lombardi is purported to have said that “Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All,” and he’s not wrong. You see the thing is that if you are suffering from any sort of anxiety condition, your body and mind are going ten to the dozen all the time. This in itself is exhausting, especially if you’re having to put on a happy face and look normal in your everyday life, however, add on top of this the burden of a bad night’s sleep and you can feel like you are coming to a crisis point pretty quickly! Happily, there are some ways that you can get more and better quality sleep. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Bed and bedroom
The environment that you go to sleep in can make a massive difference to the quality and length of sleep you get.
First of all, if you have a bed that isn’t comfortable, you are already fighting a losing battle. That means if there are springs sticking into your back, and miscellaneous lumps and bumps that are keeping you awake, it is time for a new bed. It’s also important to note that it’s not just the obvious problems with your bet that could be keeping you from getting the best night’s rest.
To determine whether your bed is supportive enough you need to identify the position that you sleep in. Those that sleep on their backs can usually get away with the softest mattresses because they have a more significant body area that is making contact with the bed. This means that their body is still supported and they will be able to sleep all through the entire night.
However, if you sleep on your side or your stomach, then a firmer mattress will be needed. This because a firmer mattress provides the necessary resistance to ensure your body does move throughout the night, something that can wake you up over and over again.
Secondly, the bedroom itself can have an effect on how easy it is to drift off to sleep and the quality of the rest you get. Particularly calming, soothing colors such as light green and blues can help create a restful atmosphere that is conducive to sleep and relaxation.
Blues and greens are known to be particularly relaxing colors to decorate with.
Also, it is crucial to keep your sleep space as minimal and clutter free as possible. This feeling of spaciousness is often crucial to creating a relaxed environment that can help you quickly drift off to sleep, come bedtime.
Next, you’ve probably heard a lot about how getting into a routine each night can help you drift off to sleep more easily. Of course, this is true, to a certain extent, but you’re routine has to be executed with the right mindset. Rushing around the house and getting stressed because you are way off the stage that you think you should be doing for bed isn’t going to chill you out, nor is it going to make sleep come any quicker!
Instead, your bedtime routine should be about gently winding down by the time you sleep your feet in between the cover. In that vein, positive sleep routines may include taking a warm bath, turning off your devices an hour or so before bed, and even getting into bed a little earlier to read by a dimmed light. All things that give your body and mind a signal that it’s time to calm down and start to rest now.
Also concerning routines, it can be helpful to look at your exercise, eating, and drinking patterns to improve the quality of your sleep. For example, too much vigorous activity late into the evening can fill your body full of adrenaline and make it hard to calm down and fall off to sleep.
Similarly drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, soda, and tea is usually a lousy idea as they also rev the body up and make it a fight to fall asleep. However, there are some foodstuffs you can eat that can be conducive to creating that sleepy feeling.
In particular, anything with a high protein content such as lean chicken or turkey or cottage cheese can make a good mid-evening or pre-bedtime snack. This is because with higher protein filled foods the body directs energy to the stomach to digest them, something that can create a drowsy feeling and make it just that tiny bit easier to drift off to sleep.
Cottage cheese is an excellent pre-bed snack.
The next sleep improvement method we will look at is meditation, although there are many types and some are not best suited to do just before you are hoping to fall asleep.
For example, you may have heard a lot about mindfulness meditation, and its health advantages especially for people with anxiety disorders. In fact, there are many scientific studies that support this.
However, for those of us that have a monkey mind, trying to mindfully watch our thoughts before bed can be like playing whack a mole! Instead, we need something that gently engages our mind so it not stimulated, but it is occupied, allowing our body to relax. To that end, body scan meditations, progressive muscle relaxations, and Yoga Nidra are much better suited for sleep improvement.
The best thing is that you will probably find plenty of these available at no extra charge via your music streaming service. Although there are many paid downloads and even books available online as well, that can help you learn these techniques and gently drift off to sleep, every night.
If you are trying to get to sleep in a noisy environment, you may be fighting a losing battle. However, if you live on a busy main road, have an old house with loud pipes, or annoying neighbors, there is often nothing you can do about the noise!
Luckily, there is another option and its using white noise to help you to fall asleep. White noise is the static sound that you can hear on the radio or TV in between channels, and it can have a strange but pleasing effect on the human nervous system.
In fact, listen to such noise can be incredibly relaxing because it counters other types of sound in your environment and can make it much easier to ignore distractions and get off to sleep. Why not try it via the video below for a night, and see if it improve your sleep quality and length?
Of course, you may be having noise issues because your other half’s snoring is keeping you awake. This can be a particularly tricky problem to solve, because they aren’t doing it on purpose, yet it can severely impact on the quality of your rest. In fact, it can lead to all sort problems such as resentments and even sleeping in separate rooms.
Happily, you don’t have to allow things to get this far, in fact, there are a plethora of resources on sites like Stop Snoring Now!, that you can use to minimize this problem. Something that will come as a great relief from anyone being kept awake by their partner’s noisy breathing night after night.
Ah, children, the wonderful sleep thieves that they are. They can’t help it, (for the most part), but their minds and bodies seem to run entirely at odd to ours! In fact, it can often seem as if they have inexhaustible energy, and that there is nothing that they want to do more than ask deep questions about why the sky is blue, and why penguins don’t get cold feet until 3 in the morning? Add on sleep troubles like nightmares, being scared of the dark, and repeatedly getting out of bed during the night and having kids can get in the way of getting a decent night’s rest.
Luckily, all is not lost here because there are some things you can do. In fact, many of the strategies above can be applied to your little ones to help them get off to sleep more easily.
However, if you feel that the sleep trouble is more of a behavioral problem, then it may be worth researching methods such as not engaging when they are crying or getting out of bed. Something you can find out more about here.
Last, of all, there are even more tactics that you can use if a long and restful sleep is eluding you. One that many people turn to first is to use a sleep improvement app. These apps come in various forms including ones that are designed for relaxation, and others that monitor your sleep patterns and provide feedback as to when to go to bed, how long to sleep for, and when to wake up.
Of course, the issue here is that many people believe that the blue light our devices emit can interfere with sleep. What that means is if you are going to use a sleep app, be sure to have your blue light mode turned off. Otherwise, you could be inadvertently counteracting any benefits the app provides, something that means a long, restful night’s sleep remains out of reach.