I used to hate to go to bed when I was little. We used to have family game nights where we played Sorry, Clue and Monopoly. Since I was the youngest, I always had to hit the hay the earliest. I wasn’t having it so I would either have fake coughing fits, whine or sneak into the hallway where I would try and steer my way back into the game. I don’t remember it ever working. These days I value my sleep. I aim for eight hours per night otherwise I’m not able to keep my energy level up. Anything less than seven, I’m shot. There are several ways to help achieve falling asleep and staying asleep.
Don’t drink caffeine after 4pm. This includes coffee, soda, hot chocolate or black tea. A cup of green tea before 7pm may be ok but you should test that out.
Complete any strenuous workouts before 8pm. Exercise gets your energy revved up and stimulates the body and mind.
Eliminate anxiety inducing activity. For most of us, scary movies, social media and confrontations with family and friends will keep you up and worrying. Try watching an old classic movie, a comedy or reading which calm the mind and hence the body.
Dim your lights 2-3 hours before bedtime. This will help induce melatonin production, a brain chemical which helps us sleep. Get plenty of sunshine and fresh air during the day.
Supplements may help. Melatonin is available in supplement form. I like the gummies because you can keep them on your nightstand and no water is necessary. 2-4 mg is ideal depending on age and body weight. CBD can help with sleep as well. It comes from hemp and acts as an adaptogen; it creates stabilization of the physiological processes in our body. Check with your healthcare pro.
Bye-bye blue light. Devices which emit blue light are known to bother our eyes and may keep us up. Avoid these or try blue light blocking eye glasses.
Drink calming or sleep inducing teas which contain natural ingredients like chamomile or valerian which are excellent to promote restfulness. Some teas contain lavender and lemon balm which reduce stress and anxiety as well.
Don’t nap more than 20-30 minutes per day. Too much napping or late day naps hinder your sleep later at night.
Watch your food intake. Don’t eat too late or too much spice or sugar. Too much alcohol can cause sleep disruptions and awaken you in the middle of the night. And avoid going to bed hungry that won’t help matters either.
Finding balance in life can be a challenge. Choosing the right mix of what works for you will help achieve falling asleep and staying asleep. Nighty-night.