Create a Sleep-Promoting Schedule
Our body’s ability to sleep is controlled by our circadian rhythm. This internal sleep schedule controls when our body starts and stops releasing melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. This schedule is designed to be consistent, so we can throw it off when we don’t go to sleep and wake up at the same time every night.
But the best sleep doesn’t just involve consistent bedtimes. Having a consistent time of winding down before going to bed also promotes restfulness. Doing activities that are not too stimulating like reading, prayer or meditation, a puzzle, or breathing exercises are the best ways to wind down. Avoid scrolling through your phone or going on electronics 30 minutes before bed.
Watch What You Eat
Consuming heavy, fattening foods and things containing nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol just before bed may also make it hard to sleep. This may seem counterintuitive since a heavy meal or a glass of wine often makes us feel relaxed or even sleepy. But your body processing heavy meals will keep you up longer. And even though alcohol makes us fall asleep quicker, it lends itself to a lower quality of sleep.
Process the Day
Sometimes, mental and emotional factors keep us from falling asleep at night, including stress over the day or our present circumstances. In these cases, it helps to take the time to process the difficult things intentionally and constructively before getting in bed. Take time to journal, talk with someone, or make lists. Then, allow yourself to let the issue go until morning.
Set the Stage
Your surroundings play a huge role in how easily you fall asleep at night. We were designed to sleep in darkness and quiet. So, when there is light streaming in from outside lights and computer screens, this brightness can keep us up. Try using blackout curtains and removing electronics from the bedroom for better sleep. And if you can’t get perfect silence, white noise machines can help you fall asleep more easily.
Even in the dark, chaotic rooms are often more difficult to relax in, as are unpleasant smelling rooms. Taking the time to give your bedroom a facelift may be the perfect trick for beating insomnia. Start by deep cleaning and organizing the room, as well as replacing your bedsheets. Then, when the room is to your liking, try plugging in a diffuser loaded with essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood.