You’re not alone. In fact, one-third of Americans say they lie awake at least a few nights each week. It can be tough to find a solution to avoid watching the minutes tick by while you toss and turn trying to find peaceful slumber. A great place to start understanding and improving your sleep is by downloading the free SleepScore App.
You have some sleep challenges
Sometimes having trouble falling asleep can be linked to some of our lifestyle habits. It could be due to:
An inconsistent sleep schedule
If you don’t go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, you simply cannot get the rest your body and mind need. A consistent sleep schedule will synchronize your body’s internal clock, so you feel sleepy at a regular time every night.
Too much light exposure before bed
It’s easy to zone out in front of the TV or your smartphone after a day of work, but when you’re exposed to blue light in the evening, it can disturb your sleep cycle. This light emitted from electronics can delay your sleep onset, causing you to lay awake in bed.
Caffeine too late in the day
While it may seem obvious, caffeine is a sneaky stimulant that often interferes with sleep. Consuming too much of it can lead to staying awake in bed for hours. In some cases, it can result in insomnia too.
Stress or worrisome thoughts
Stress and worry from events in your personal or professional life might cost you precious sleep at night.
Overthinking, being anxious, or just stressing over things you can’t change activate the fight or flight response in the body and might lead to chronic stress. Too much of that, over time, results in chronic insomnia, as shared by the Mayo Clinic.
Poorly timed exercise habits
Sometimes we just have to fit in exercise whenever we can, but certain times of day can be costly to our rest. Working out too close to bedtime can be overstimulating, causing us to lay wide awake when we should be slipping softly into sleep.
These struggles are all linked to general poor sleep, but tend to make the act of falling asleep in particular rather difficult. For more ways to improve your sleep, including simple lifestyle change advice, download the SleepScore App.
We’ve got some other ideas too!
Luckily, we’ve got a few practical and easy ways to fix your sleeping problems and start falling asleep fast every night, starting tonight!
Take a warm shower an hour before bed.
A warm shower or bath in the evening can get you in the right state for a solid 8-hour sleep. That, combined with sleeping in a cool room, is considered excellent sleep hygiene.
Dim the lights in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Smart devices tend to keep us awake and suppress the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, so make sure you remove these kinds of disturbances from your bedroom. Start by dimming the lights at least an hour before you go to sleep and limit the use of smart devices at that time too.
Avoid caffeine consumption in the afternoon (stopping by 2pm is a good rule of thumb).
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, so it can end up staying in your bloodstream for a lot longer than you’d realize. We recommend taking an afternoon walk, sipping on sparkling water, or eating a high protein snack like almonds in place of downing a coffee or energy drink.
Find outlets to relieve stress after a long day(like journaling, reading, or focusing on your breathing for a few minutes).
Instead of stressing out over tomorrow’s meeting, you can try some relaxing activities such as reading, journaling, listening to a podcast, or even try a coloring book for adults!
Leave a 4-hour window between your exercise time and your bedtime.
You don’t want to stimulate your metabolism and increase your heart rate right before bedtime. Moving your daily workout to the earlier parts of your day will make you feel good and tired when bedtime rolls around, thus allowing you to drift to sleep faster.
Keep a cool bedroom environment (60-68F is the sweet spot for great Zzzs).
If your bedroom is too warm, or too cold, your body isn’t able to easily enter slumber and all the necessary sleep stages at night. Our bodies like it cool when we sleep!
Falling asleep can sometimes be a hurdle in getting a good night’s rest. But being armed with the right tools, including the SleepScore App, can help you drift off to dreamland easier, leaving you refreshed in the morning!