Everyone has a sleepless night once in a while. But if you’re constantly struggling to fall asleep, tossing and turning, or waking up in pain, you need to address that as a serious health concern; your body needs sleep to function well, and the effects of chronic poor sleep can make their way into almost every aspect of your life. Here are five strategies that can help you get a better night’s rest:
- Get Plenty of Daily Exercise
It makes sense that exercising makes you tired, which in turn helps you sleep more soundly. But it’s more than that; exercise also releases endorphins that reduce stress, a common culprit that makes you lie awake at night. Just be sure you don’t exercise right before bed, as this can actually energize you and make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- Try Ergonomic Pillows
If you’re waking up with neck pain or constantly readjusting your pillow throughout the night, you may want to swap your standard pillows for ergonomic ones. You might find them less comfortable at first, since they don’t have the same fluffy feel as feather pillows, but they provide better support and ensure your neck isn’t getting crunched into an awkward position night after night.
- Consider an Adjustable Bed Mattress
Adjustable beds aren’t just for seniors. These mattresses can be adjusted at numerous points along the body to create a contoured sleeping surface that matches the contours of your body. There are many sizes of adjustable beds and types of adjustable beds (even memory foam), so you don’t need to sacrifice your mattress preferences in order to get this added functionality.
- Don’t Eat Before Lying Down
It’s hard to digest food when you’re lying down, and your body will produce quite a bit of extra heat after you’ve eaten a large meal. Combine that with digestive pain or heartburn, and you’ll almost certainly struggle to get restful sleep. Try to shift your largest meal to the first half or middle of the day, rather than the end, and eat your last meal several hours before you lie down at night.
- Stick to a Clear Schedule
If you’ve tried everything else and are still having trouble sleeping, your schedule may be to blame. Most people’s bodies aren’t very tolerant of changes in sleep patterns, so you should try to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day (yes, even on weekends). If that still isn’t helping, then it may be time to see a sleep specialist.
What have you tried to help you sleep better? Share what does and doesn’t work for you in the comments.