Can’t Sleep – 5 Proven Tips for Great Sleep

 Can't Sleep

Written by Alan Anderson

Can’t sleep? Well don’t worry, you are among the millions of people who struggle with quality sleep.

However, doctors agree that good sleep is an essential part of maintaining good health. While we sleep our body undergoes vital repair and rejuvenation processes.

So, learning simple ways to improve your sleep quality can be vital to your health and wellness.

The Downside

If you don’t address sleep problems, it can have a major impact on your health. In fact, long term sleep deprivation is responsible for a range of health challenges including-

  • Low energy levels
  • Increased Stress and anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced concentration and alertness
  • Digestive problems

Also, at the extreme end of the scale, it can lead to challenges like-

  • High blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • And even Depression

Great Sleep is all about finding the best ways to relax your body and mind. Without this, it is very difficult to achieve high quality sleep. In fact, the Dalai Lama calls sleep the best meditation.

I learned the hard way about stress and its impact on sleep and health. That’s why I wanted to share some of my favorite sleep tips.

can't sleep - gentle exercise

1) Can’t Sleep – Stretch It

When you can’t sleep, gentle muscle stretches can help to relax your body before sleep.

So, do some gentle body stretches an hour or so before your planned sleep time. Also, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to cool down before trying to sleep.

When we want to sleep, we need our mind to relax enough to transition into sleep mode.

One of the most powerful exercises just before trying to sleep, is to take around five to ten deep gentle breaths.

The act of focusing your mind on your deep breathing, can help your mind let go into the sleep transition. The key is to make your breathing gentle. The letting go happens on the slow gentle out breath. Try it. Practice makes perfect.

A general exercise program is vital for good health. Combined with a balanced diet, good sleep and deep relaxation, regular exercise should be part of your health and well-being plan.

If you do a regular exercise program, plan it for early in the day or late afternoon. If you over exercise in the evening, you can affect your ability to fall asleep. Generally, exercise floods your body with hormones like adrenaline which are designed to keep you alert and fully awake. So, this is not a great mix when trying to sleep.

can't sleep - food intake

2) Can’t Sleep – You Are What You Eat

If you can’t sleep, you want to consider the impact of fluid and food intake on your ability to sleep.

When you can’t sleep, its important to try to limit your fluid intake in the evening. An over full bladder can cause you to wake up for bath room stops during the night. Left unchecked, this can create regular sleep disturbance which disrupt our natural sleep rhythm and quality of sleep.

Also, make your evening meal as light as possible. An overly full stomach can create problems getting to sleep. For best results, you should try to eat your evening meal at least two hours or more before your regular planned sleep time. This gives time for your digestive system to work before you try to sleep.

can't sleep - stimulants

3) Can’t Sleep – What a Buzz

If you can’t sleep, you may want to also consider the impact of stimulants on your ability to sleep.

Our modern life is full of products that contain stimulants. Generally, stimulants are destroyer of sleep and should therefore be monitored closely.

So, here are some of the major stimulants you should be aware of.

Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a stimulant that can interrupt your ability to get to sleep.

If you cannot break the smoking habit, try to have your last cigarette and hour or so before your planned sleep time.

Also, alcohol can initially induce a drowsy state that leads to sleep.  However, the problem is that alcohol is also a stimulant. Its impact surface after the initial effects of drowsiness wear off. Of course, this can lead to interruption of our sleep rhythm.

Generally, stimulants should be avoided within two to three hours of your planned sleep time.

Furthermore, there are many products and medicines that contain hidden stimulants like caffeine.

What’s Hiding?

Also, many cold and flu medicines contain caffeine, so make sure you check the label before taking any medicine at night.

If you are unsure what is in your medication, talk to your doctor or health professional.

Finally, coffee and tea both provide us with caffeine, which is a stimulant that increases our alertness.

Overall, it is important to limit our intake of stimulants like caffeine three to four hours before our planned sleep time.  If not, they can leave our brain buzzing and sleep almost impossible to attain.

can't sleep -relaxed body

4) Can’t Sleep – Melt the Tension

If you can’t sleep, it can be useful to monitor tension in your body as a cause.

The most powerful way to induce great sleep is by learning to switch off your stress state.

By doing this, we can replace it with a deeply relaxed state, which is the key to quality sleep and overall wellness.

If you carry a lot of tension in your muscles, you should consider learning progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a great way to reduce stress in your body. Also, it is a proven method that teaches you how to relax the tension in your body.

As the name suggests, Progress Muscle Relaxation is a very simple, yet powerful method of learning to relax each muscle set in your body to reduce muscle tension.  I will be publishing a simple P.M.R script you can use in a future post.

can't sleep -relaxed mind

5) Can’t Sleep  – Stop Chattering

If you can’t sleep, you may want to consider mind stress as an cause.

Mind stress and its impact on sleep is probably the biggest barrier to quality sleep for most people.

The most powerful tool I found to quieten my mind before sleep was meditation for deep relaxation.

Meditation for deep relaxation is now one of the most widely researched and well-accepted methods of deep relaxation and stress reduction.

It is very easy to learn and has proven long-term health benefits. Also, it’s a great way of quietening the mind and body before sleep.

I will be writing more about simple breath watching meditation in future blog posts.

Another Favorite

If you can’t sleep, because your mind keeps chattering, you might want to try this idea.

This great method helped me reduce stress and improve sleep.

I struggle with lots of thoughts circulating around my mind as I try to get to sleep.

So, the solution for this is to add the power of journal writing to your sleep preparation.

Make sure you always have your journal and a pen handy as you prepare for sleep each night.

Then, as they arise, write down all the issues that are stuck in your mind. The simple act of writing your thoughts down is a powerful way of getting your mind to relax. Also, it seems to allow you to let go of thoughts and happenings of the day.

Finally, the science of sound can impact your ability to sleep. Scientists have found that very specifically designed sound tracks can help the mind to induce deep states of relaxation.

These tracks are generally called sleep music, which can help your mind to transition into the natural sleep state. Try a special track of sleep music the next time you find yourself unable to sleep.

For more information about improving your sleep, read our previous blog post 6 Key Factors for Great Sleep

You can also look inside my book on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LBWQ0IQ

 

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