Ever find yourself tossing and turning in the night and struggling to get to sleep? Here are seven tips to make sure that never happens again:
- Have a good diet. By this we mean eating unprocessed, whole foods. When you eat cleaner, you can decrease your needed sleep time by 30 to 60 minutes.
- No caffeine after 12 p.m. Your body can take up to 12 hours to process and eliminate caffeine, and you don’t want any trace of it lingering once bedtime rolls around.
- Sleep in cooler temperatures. Temperature is closely linked to your circadian rhythm. When you sleep in cooler temperatures, you have a better quality of sleep. The ideal temperature typically ranges from 65 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, keep in mind that you don’t want to make it uncomfortably cold.
- Sleep in darkness. By darkness, we mean pitch-black. Get some blackout curtains for your windows, cover up any lights on your TV or alarm clock, and remove any cell phones, laptops, or computers from the room. Any light inside your room will reduce your body’s ability to produce melatonin. It’s critical that your body produces melatonin because that’s what will help you get a good, deep, restful sleep.
- Remove all electronics one hour before bed. This means computers, laptops, TVs, and even cell phones. No watching Facebook videos an hour before bed—you can watch them tomorrow. The flickering lights from your phone will reduce your body’s ability to produce melatonin. On top of that, they stimulate your mind and make it harder to shut down. What should you do instead? Look to No. 6…
- Try reading, journaling, or stretching in that hour. As far as reading goes, stay away from murder mysteries or books that keep your mind stimulated. Remember—you’re trying to go to bed. If your mind is racing and your thoughts are bouncing all over the place, journaling can be therapeutic and relaxing. Stretching will help alleviate any physical tension in your body.
- Try out different sleeping positions. The worst position to sleep in is on your stomach because you have to turn your head one way or the other to breathe, and that can be very problematic for your neck. A better position would be sleeping on your side. It’s good to have a specialized pillow with a divot in the middle for the side position so your neck is supported and your head rests levelly. Adding a body pillow helps too because it prevents your hips from over-rotating. The best position is sleeping on your back. You can use a divot pillow for this position as well to help your neck or you can also use a cervical pillow. You can find many great cervical pillow options at Neckhero.com.
A lot of our clients tell us it’s hard for them to sleep on their backs. If this is the case for you, it might be because you have misalignments in your spine and it is putting pressure on your back as you’re lying down. We highly recommend making an appointment with your local chiropractor so they can help you alleviate that.
Tight hip flexors is another common problem that can make it difficult to sleep on your back. Most of us sit all day at work, when we drive, and when we’re at home. When we spend that much time sitting, our hip flexors stay tight. Trying to sleep on your back with tight hip flexors will cause you to hyperextend to the point where your back is too arched. A good remedy for this is sticking a body pillow underneath your knees. This will flatten out your lower back and take some pressure off it.
When you sleep at night, that’s when your body is healing, recovering, and repairing itself. A good night’s sleep will make you feel energized the next day. You owe it to yourself to be at your best each and every day.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email. We’re here to help.