It’s no secret that millions of Americans find it difficult to stay asleep or even fall asleep. What’s even more concerning is the fact that sleep deprivation can lead to even bigger problems. Diabetes, kidney disease, and colds have all been linked back to sleep, or the lack thereof. In 2019, 103 million people Google searched sleep-related problems. Below I have outlined some tips to help with this widespread sleeping struggle.
This step can be difficult but try to approach it through the process of elimination. I do this by analyzing my personal schedule: is my dog waking me up in the middle of the night? Did I forget to turn my phone on “do not disturb”? Is it recurring body aches or just discomfort from throwing the frisbee around today? The list goes on.
Pro Tip: Try to rule out one-offs and focus on what is in your daily routine.
Your diet and what you’re putting into your body… it matters! Candidly speaking, if you drink a ton of caffeine in the afternoon you’re going to toss and turn. Granted everyone’s body is different, but a general rule of thumb is to stay clear of foods and beverages that put your body into “go” mode. Chocolate is one of those sneaky foods that has naturally occurring caffeine, so pay attention to what you’re having for dessert or before bedtime.
Having a routine is one way to not only pinpoint your sleeplessness, but also: it can actually help reduce it. Wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. The first week of this will be rough, we know, so here’s another blog post on non-habit forming sleep aids to help you get over the initial hump. Try to stick to a sleep schedule that works every day, realistically give or take an hour. Once you seriously commit to your routine, you will begin to form a new habit.
A tired body makes for a good night’s rest. This can be especially hard if you live somewhere with long winters. Take it from us, northern winters can be horrible! I Though, if you can do 30 minutes of indoor cardio or even go for a short walk, you’re increasing your dopamine levels so your body is tired later. Exercise helps regulate your bodily rhythms throughout the day and night. The time of day you exercise also makes a difference. I recommend exercising in the morning as opposed to nighttime since the initial effects of working out create an energetic feeling.
Most Americans spend their minutes or hours before shut-eye not shutting down their electronics. The blue light from your computer and cell strains your eyes and keeps your brain cells moving. That restlessness and inability to quiet the mind aren’t that far off from this one. If this step is difficult for you, start by setting a small goal of no electronics 15 minutes before bed. Then gradually increase to an hour as doctors recommended. Read more about the doctor’s suggested screen time usage here.
Lack of sleep and trouble sleeping (as a symptom) is rarely a nice way to find out something is wrong with your body, but it could be a symptom of something other than lifestyle habits. If trouble sleeping continues, you may need to seek professional help. There’s no shame in doing what is best for your body and ultimately feeling better long-term. Improved sleep can help you to take on the day, have higher energy levels, and enable you to be more present for others you love in your life. And let’s be honest, it’d be nice to stop complaining about how little sleep we got last night. If you are still looking for something to help kickstart the process, our team recommended the BATCH Dream Tincture. It helped one of our editors drift off and kickstart better sleep habits quicker.