Not getting enough sleep is an issue for many people. I’ve heard it said from a sleep expert that most people go through their entire life sleep deprived. Many of my coaching clients need to get more sleep to be their very best every day, so they track their sleep hours to help them focus on making sure they are getting enough sleep every night. Getting enough sleep helps you in so many ways – professionally and personally. If sleep is an issue for you, check out the strategies in this article, written by Gabriel Patel of healthwellwise.com Can’t sleep? Just take a few pills and you can drift into a deep slumber that lasts until morning. It sounds simple enough, but medication isn’t really the best choice for insomnia. Prescription sleep aids come with a wide range of side effects, including daytime drowsiness and bizarre nighttime behaviors. With regular use, the body grows dependent on sleep aids, and you lose the ability to sleep without medication. There are better options than prescription sleeping pills when you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest. Supplements There is a wide array of supplements on the market that all claim to help with sleep, but what will really work? A few have more to offer than others; melatonin, for one, is a solid choice for helping with slumber. You can ramp up your sun exposure a bit, which Verywell Health notes is especially effective in the mornings, and you can try a melatonin supplement, too. You might be surprised to learn that a supplement most people associate with skin health might also help you sleep, which is collagen. However, as Well + Good explains, this skin-, bone-, and muscle-boosting supplement could potentially help you catch more z’s, too. Just be forewarned that this is a slower route for some, so if you don’t see results right away, give it a little more time. Sleep Hygiene When you can’t sleep, the first things you should examine are your daily habits and routines. Are you drinking coffee late into the day, using technology before bed, or going to sleep at a different time each day? These are all examples of poor sleep hygiene. Keep a sleep diary to examine how your habits are sabotaging your sleep. Then, take steps to address your sleep hygiene. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends things like a consistent schedule, a bedtime routine, and dedicating your bedroom to sleep and intimacy (i.e., no work allowed). Bedroom Changes Is your bedroom a peaceful oasis or does discomfort invade your sleep? Everything from the color of your walls to the temperature of your bedroom influences your rest. Make sure your bedroom is optimized for sleep by keeping it dark, cool, and quiet. This might mean doing a little redecorating, but it’s a small price to pay for better sleep. Some blackout shades or curtains and a sleep machine can be just the ticket to your visit with Mr. Sandman. Exercise Adopting a more active lifestyle is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your sleep. People who engage in moderate aerobic exercise on a regular basis get more deep sleep at night. They also have an easier time unwinding and falling asleep, thanks to the mood-stabilizing and stress-relieving effects of exercise. In fact, better sleep is one of the first signs that you’re making progress in a new workout routine. Meditation Trouble falling asleep is one of the most common sleep problems. For many of us, it’s not that we aren’t tired — it’s that our minds are so busy, we can’t relax enough to doze off. Sleep medication does nothing to halt intrusive thoughts, but sleep meditation does. Meditation trains you to take control of your thoughts, so you can achieve a clear-headed, peaceful state, which can naturally lend itself to better slumber. You can find a number of meditation apps to help you. Along those same lines, if you’re plagued by anxious thoughts at night, it might be time to connect with an accountability coach. You can engage a professional for one-on-one sessions or to work with an accountability group, depending on your situation. Ironing out issues and getting everyone on the right track could be all you need to stop counting sheep, and have your subconscious mind not keep you up thinking about all the activities you need to do. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) If you’ve tried other things and you’re still struggling to achieve a calm state of mind at bedtime, cognitive behavioral therapy is the next step you should investigate. CBT for insomnia teaches you techniques for shutting down night-time worries and establishing healthy sleep habits. And as Sleepio points out, the benefits of CBT aren’t limited to bedtime: the cognitive techniques CBT teaches help with daytime stresses too. When you can’t sleep, you have better options than suffering through the night or taking medications that harm your well-being. With all-natural strategies like these, you can say goodnight to insomnia and finally get the restful sleep you need to be the best you can be each day. –Article written by Gabriel Patel of healthwellwise.com.
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