If you ever dragged your exhausted self to bed and discovered hours later that your body refuses to doze off, you would know that falling and staying asleep is not easy. Plus, if you are stressed about not sleeping enough, those hours of good sleep and proper rest can sound even more elusive than before.
Frankly, we get it. You carry yourself throughout the day, take whatever comes your way heads on, put out big and small fires, and by the time we hit the bed, your brain hasn’t fully coped up yet. Then we all know how those bedtime hours go – you toss and turn in bed, scroll through your Instagram, and constantly calculate how many hours you have until you get out of bed. Or maybe you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and have no idea how to fall back asleep.
With all this combined, the stress of getting the right amount of sleep keeps you even more awake. This vicious cycle affects everything from your productivity and focus to your physical and mental well-being. As we celebrate Sleep Awareness Week from March 12-18, it is essential that we comprehend and understand that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Sleep Awareness Week is an initiative by the National Sleep Foundation that serves as a call to action for the general public to recognize the importance of sleep as a part of our physical and mental well-being. It aims to generate awareness around the best, scient-backed tips for falling asleep.
To celebrate Sleep Awareness Week, let us dive deeper into the best and most efficient tips for falling asleep.
5 Best Tips For Falling Asleep This Sleep Awareness Week
1. Get access to some bright light right after you wake up.
One of the best tips for falling asleep doesn’t start at nighttime; it is something you can do right after waking up. Getting natural light outside, sitting on the balcony, or just using an artificial light box can be the perfect way to start your day. Getting this bright light in the first 30 minutes of waking up can help you stay more alert during the day and, as a later effect, help you fall asleep easily at night.
2. Take up a small relaxing habit at nighttime.
You are clearly exhausted at the end of a typical workday. Your mind is filled with all-consuming thoughts about the day you just had. This is why making your personal nighttime unwinding routine can be a key to relaxing and getting good sleep. Whether it is Yoga, listening to music, having a warm bath, or journaling, having an evening ritual that you genuinely like and doesn’t feel like a task is important.
3. Avoid consuming certain things.
Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol – are the three substances that can significantly interfere with your body’s desire to sleep. As per research by Timothy Roehrs, alcohol was found to alter our sleep structures, making us more vulnerable to getting up in the middle of the night. Alcohol can also reduce sleep quality, especially in people dealing with anxiety issues. Therefore, it is good to avoid these things altogether. If not, try to regulate your consumption practices and avoid these substances during the afternoon or evening when your body is preparing itself to fall asleep.
4. Put your thoughts to sleep before yourself.
Most of us bring the stress of our daily lives to bed. The constant worries about the day gone by and the upcoming day, the flashes of your to-do list, and a dozen unending worries keep racing in our brains as we prepare to get sleep. Therefore one of the most important tips for falling asleep is to detox your brain before falling asleep. In order to achieve that, try doing these three things:
- remember three good things about the day,
- set intentions for the next day, and
- repeat to yourself mantras like, “I deserve this time to rest and recuperate for tomorrow.”
5. Go to bed when you actually feel sleepy.
Now this one is hard! We know how tempting it is to lounge in bed at odd hours during the day. However, getting into bed too early can result in the usual cycle of tossing, turning, and doom-scrolling – eventually making it even harder to fall asleep. Therefore, notice the signs in your body and head to bed only when you actually feel sleepy. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to sleep, try getting up and doing something relaxing rather than staying in bed.
Sleep Awareness Week is celebrated every year to help people understand the importance of a good night’s sleep on their physical and mental well-being. We hope these five easy and practical tips for falling asleep will help you get the sleep of your dreams.
Sleep Awareness Week also aims to highlight the negative impacts of sleep deprivation on the human body. To learn more about them, click here.
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