How to Go to Sleep

How to Go To Sleep

How to Go to Sleep- written by Alan Anderson

I was forced to re-learn how to go to sleep when I allowed stress and overwork to rob me of my ability to sleep well.

Knowing how to go to sleep easily every night is vital for maintaining health and well-being. That is why I have put together sixteen of my favorite proven tips about how to go to sleep easily.

How to Go To Sleep -Tips

16 Proven Tips for Great Sleep

1)    Don’t Fight the Rhythm

Our natural biorhythms control when we should be awake and when we should be sleeping. Do not fight your natural sleep rhythm. Several hours after sun down when the light levels reduce, our brain naturally produces a sleep hormone called melatonin. This hormone helps to make us feel drowsy and ready for sleep. Become aware of this and do not fight it. This is your biorhythm telling you it is time to rest and rejuvenate your mind and body.

2)    Consistency is the Key

Doctors agree that we need at least six hours of quality sleep each night to stay healthy, and preferably up to seven or eight hours. That is why it is important to review your sleeping hours and adjust the time you start preparing for sleep each night, in order to allow at least six to eight hours of sleep.

Try to be as consistent as you can within reason. If you need to wake at 6am each morning, you need be ready for sleep by around 10pm or 11pm on a regular basis. Consistency can be a challenge but is one of the keys to quality sleep. Of course, there will be times when you need to change your sleep time. The key for great sleep is to be as consistent as you can with your regular sleep time.

How to Go To Sleep -daylight

3)    Don’t Forget the Sunlight

Earlier I talked about our biorhythms and how we naturally produce melatonin to become drowsy before sleep as the light levels reduce. At the opposite end of these biorhythms, we produce different hormones in daylight that help us stay alert and awake. Therefore, it is important to make sure you do not spend all day inside in low light. Get some full sun or daylight first thing in the morning to re-set your biorhythm.

4)    Day Time Naps

Daytime naps can be a very useful way of catching up on sleep if our regular sleep pattern has been interrupted. Be aware that regular napping during the day can disturb your natural sleep rhythm and make it more difficult to sleep when you want to at night. It is best to limit daytime naps to 20 minutes maximum and take them earlier in the day rather than later.

How to Go To Sleep -chill

5)    The Importance of Chill Time

Creating a chill time was one of the most powerful things I learned when I re-trained myself how to go to sleep. I learned that it takes time for our body and mind to transition from the full-on day mode into sleep mode. That is why creating a ‘chill time’ before sleep is one of the most powerful sleep habits you can form. A chill time allows your mind and body to relax and become aware of your sleep biorhythm. Chill time means limiting all forms of mental and physical stimulation. That means no Television, No Computers, No Loud music, No Study.

6)    Stay Cool

Overheating is one issue that can keep you awake at night. Our optimal sleep temperature is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you feel too hot in bed, try sleeping with one less layer of bed covers than normal. You may find that wearing a pair of socks can help you feel warm without overheating your body while still allowing you to reduce the layers of bed covers.

How to Go To Sleep -clock watcher

7)    Are You a Clock Watcher?

Having a bright and noisy alarm clock next to your bed can lead to clock watching during the night, which can add to the stress of poor sleep. If you have an alarm clock, put it in a bedside draw so you cannot see it. Leave the drawer open just enough so you can hear the alarm in the morning. This also works well with you smart phone which can be a major source of sleep disruption.

8)    Strive for Zero

To create the perfect sleep sanctuary, it is important to remove the sources of distraction to sleep. We have many modern devices that create sleep disruption. Review how many pieces of technology you allow into your bedroom.  The best sleep sanctuary should have zero sources of distraction. Zero smart phones, zero laptops, zero tablets, zero televisions and zero pets.

How to Go To Sleep -stretch

9)    The Power of Stretch

Gentle muscle stretches can help to relax your body before sleep. Do gentle body stretches an hour or so before your planned sleep time, to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to cool down before trying to sleep.

If you struggle with muscle tension, you may want to learn progressive muscle relaxation just before sleep time.

10)  Keep Breathing

When we want to sleep, we need our mind to relax to transition into sleep mode. When learning how to go to sleep, one of the most powerful exercises you can do just before trying to sleep is to take around five to ten deep, gentle breaths. The act of focussing your mind on your deep gentle breath can help your mind let go into the sleep transition. The key is to make them gentle, because the letting go happens on the slow gentle out breath. Practice makes perfect when re-learning how to go to sleep.

How to Go To Sleep -exercise

11)  Exercise Time

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, as your body will be flooded with hormones like adrenaline which is designed to keep you alert and fully awake. This can be a real challenge when you are trying new ways to learn how to go to sleep, because it involves adjusting current positive habits.

12)  Soak Yourself to Sleep

Many people find soaking in a warm bath can help to relax their muscles and mind before sleep. Be careful you don’t overheat your body and allow a cool down period before your planned sleep time.

13) Sense of Sight

Lower the light levels in your home in the evening. Lowering the light levels is the trigger for the natural production of the hormone melatonin, which helps you become drowsy and ready for sleep. Consider switching off all devices that emit light at least a half an hour before your planned sleep time. That includes televisions, tablets, smart phones and laptops.

How to Go To Sleep -aromatherapy

14) Give in to Your Senses

Add a drop of lavender oil to a tissue and put it inside your pillow or add a few drops of lavender oil to a warm bath well before you want to sleep. Aromatherapy oils can also help you to create a general freshness to your sleeping environment. Make sure you buy good quality essential oils and use them carefully. These essential oils are very concentrated, so you only need to use a drop or two and don’t allow them to contact your skin directly.

15) Let the Day Go

If you struggle with lots of thoughts circulating around your mind as you try to sleep, add the power of journal writing to your sleep preparation. As part of your sleep preparation, get yourself a writing journal. Write down all the issues that are stuck in your mind. The act of writing your thoughts down is a powerful way of getting your mind to relax and let go of thoughts and events of the day. Another great way of letting go of the days thoughts is to learn how to meditate.

How to Go To Sleep -food intake

16) Evening Intake

Try to limit your food and fluid intake in the evening as this can impact your ability to sleep well. An over full bladder can cause you to wake up for bath room stops during the night and create regular sleep disturbance which can disrupt our natural sleep rhythm. Make your evening meal as light as possible, as an overly full stomach can create problems getting to sleep. You should try to eat your evening meal at least two hours or more before your regular planned sleep time.

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.

Alcohol can initially induce a drowsy state that leads to sleep. The problem is that alcohol is also a stimulant and after the initial effects of drowsiness wear off, it can interrupt out sleep rhythm. To achieve great sleep not stimulants should be taken within two to three hours of your planned sleep time.

Coffee and tea both provide us with caffeine, which is a stimulant that increases our alertness. It is important to limit our intake of stimulants like caffeine three to four hours before our planned sleep time, otherwise it can leave our brain buzzing and sleep almost impossible to attain.

Final Word on How to Go To Sleep

If like me you struggle with stress that stops you from sleeping, here are some other posts

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Script

Can’t Sleep- 5 Proven Tips for Great Sleep

Learning How to Meditate Saved My Life

 

 

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