4. Try a podcast
Sometimes we can all use a little help shutting off our brains. Relaxation can require more than just some aromatherapy, a cozy bed, and the perfect temperature. Maybe you suffer from diabetic neuropathy that has you focused on your pain. Perhaps you have anxiety that has you playing through the days events, wondering where you could’ve been better. You might find that a peaceful distraction is exactly what you need.
You’re not alone. And because sleep is hard to come by for so many people, there are a lot of podcasts that exist to help combat the issue.
My personal favorite, Sleep With Me– described as “a lulling, droning, boring bedtime story to distract your racing mind,” does the trick every time! It’s amusing enough to distract you, but not interesting enough that you want to stay awake to hear the end.
5. Set a schedule
If you find it difficult to fall asleep, it might be time to look at your routine. Does your alarm clock go off at the same time every morning? Do you have a ritual you do at the same time each night that signifies it’s time for bed? Is it lights off at roughly the same time, or do you make your way to bed whenever you begin to feel sleepy?
If you’re waiting for your body to tell your brain to go to bed, you might find your sleep patterns are just as inconsistent as your schedule. Setting a sleep schedule, and sticking to it– even on the weekends, can help set your body’s sleep-wake cycle, and nightly rituals help signify to your brain that it’s time to wind down.
6. Reduce caffeine
Everyone has a different threshold for caffeine. While that mid-afternoon cup of joe might feel essential, there’s a chance it could be betraying you later in the day. If you’re feeling anxious or jittery when your head hits the pillow, it might be time to make some changes to your caffeine consumption.
You don’t have to remove caffeine from your diet completely, but consider putting a cap on it. Try reducing the amount you’re drinking, or switching to non-caffeinated beverages after a certain time (for me, it’s 2pm).
7. Quit smoking and limit alcohol
While alcohol is known to aid in sleep, studies show that the positive effects don’t last. Instead, it actually inhibits REM sleep. And as for that cigarette you might think is helping you relax– smoking can have a stimulating effect, making it harder to fall asleep.
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