Sound sleep is essential for living a meaningful life. If you don’t get enough or proper sleep, you may find yourself dragging your feet everywhere with no real purpose. Moreover, you can become irritable, and you will most certainly lack the energy to carry out your usual chores during the day.
It may sound paradoxical, but some people find it tough to sleep after a long day. It happens because the body becomes overtired and starts functioning on false energy. The brain gets the wrong signals that it needs to stay alert and prevents the brain from falling asleep. In case these signs are not monitored over some time, it can potentially lead to issues such as insomnia.
If you face similar days of sleeplessness, here is what you can do.
1. Stop looking at the clock
What happens when you can’t sleep? You look at the clock and mentally calculate the time you have to sleep. If there is a remarkable delay, you get more distressed about being awake. Your thoughts start racing, and you find it even harder to fall asleep.
To avoid this situation, stop looking at the clock every now and then. It is advisable to follow the next step if there is no sign of sleep at all.
2. Leave the bed if you cannot fall asleep
If you cannot fall asleep, it is advisable to get up and go to another room. Don’t stay in bed for more than twenty minutes if you find sleep evading you. The more you stay in bed, the more thoughts will run in your head and stress you about sleeping on time. Moreover, it can form an unhealthy relationship in your brain between your bed and wakefulness.
It is advisable to go to another room and engage in a relaxing activity. You can either listen to soothing music or read a book to divert your mind. You can also try art therapy to calm down your anxiety and stress. The idea is not to paint like an artist. What you need is a way to channel any pent up tension through colouring or doodling.
As you start feeling drowsy, come back to your bed and try sleeping. It may just work this time. If it doesn’t, you may repeat the process.
3. Make your bedroom more comfortable
With a cosy bedroom, you can enhance your chances of falling asleep the moment you hit the sack. To begin with, make sure no light or sound enters the room. It may distract you on a subconscious level. Moreover, light can send wrong signals to your brain that it is time to get up.
Secondly, maintain a temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. Try to set the temperature ahead of your sleeping time so that there is no waiting time as you enter the room to sleep.
Lastly and more importantly, ensure that the pillows and mattresses that you use are of good quality and the right firmness level. If they are not to your liking, you may find yourself twisting and turning in bed with sleep miles away. Moreover, they may give you body aches leaving you all the more exhausted in the morning.
4. Enjoy some downtime before sleeping
After a long and hectic day, your body and mind are already tired. Don’t spend time on your phone or laptop before going to bed. Text conversations or videos will send wrong signals to your brain and mislead into waking up instead of falling asleep.
You can talk to your family or friends and discuss any thoughts troubling you before sleeping. As you do this, you will experience an immediate sense of calm that will make sleeping easier.
If you had a physically tiring day, try to relax by dipping your feet in warm water. Add some bath salts or good-old table salt to relax your worn out feet. You can also light a scented candle to rest your senses and destress your mind. After all, who doesn’t like a small spa session, right?
5. Have a regular sleep schedule
More often than not, you will have a late morning after a night of sleeplessness. Or you will take a nap in the day to make up for the sleep lost. As you do this, you will find sleeping tougher again the next day. With repeated instances, it will send your sleep cycle for a toss.
It is advisable to follow regular timings, even on weekends. With a regular sleep-wake clock, you will find it easier to fall asleep at night. To achieve this, try to wake up on time even when you sleep late.
6. Calm your mind
Did something happen during the day that is worrying you? Are you in a state where you can’t stop the flurry of thoughts that are racing through your mind? If yes, it is advisable to calm down your mind to experience sound sleep.
Try deep breathing to divert your focus from your thoughts. If that doesn’t work, practise mindfulness meditation. To do this, imagine a scene like a beach or a mountain. Immerse yourself completely in that scene by aligning all your senses to that scene.
For instance, if you are on a beach, imagine what you can see, hear, feel and touch. It is an effective way of diverting your mind from the problem at hand. It is also a known method for reducing anxiety and stress. Try to practice it daily before sleeping to experience sound sleep.
7. Keep the use of your bedroom restricted
To enjoy good sleep, you need to train your brain to associate the bedroom only with sleep. For instance, if you work from home and use your bedroom as your office, your brain will associate it with work. It will make falling asleep harder.
Similarly, do not watch television in your room. Instead, use it only for sleep and intimacy.
Quality sleep is essential to feel rejuvenated in the morning. However, there are days when you can’t sleep despite your best intentions. In such situations, the tips shared above will help you calm your mind and enjoy a deep state of resting sleep.