Want to look better, feel better, and be happier? Then you need to sleep better. You know it’s true, and yet we find all sorts of ways to stay awake way longer than we should.
When we’re not getting the sleep we need, we suddenly become panicked for sleep, and we either crash with exhaustion or lie there with our eyes wide open, freaking out about how tired we’re going to be the next day. This isn’t the way to optimum health.
The studies are out there, and the importance of sleep in every aspect of your life has been well documented. Being well-rested plays a role in everything from your urge to eat junk food to your sex life.
So how do you make sleep a priority? The following tips will help you get the sleep your body needs to function at its best.
Tips to Fall Asleep Faster
You have a busy life and can’t afford to waste a lot of time trying to sleep. You need to skip the trying and go right to sleep. One of the following tips is bound to be your secret recipe to awesome zzzzz’s.
1. Make a To-Do List
This might sound like something that will give you anxiety about the next day, but a study from Baylor University found that it did just the opposite.
The study divided people into a group that wrote a to-do list for the next day and a group that wrote a list of accomplishments from that day. The to-do list group fell asleep faster, and researchers believe it’s because writing the lists lets you stop worrying about it, which helps you relax because you have a plan.
2. Have Sex
Not sleeping well can actually harm your sex life, but there’s the other side. Sex gives you a little workout, some obviously more vigorous than others.
Sex prompts the release of oxytocin and reduces the release of cortisol. Orgasms also release the hormone prolactin. All of these combine together to relax your body, make you feel more connected to your partner, and reduce stress. Suddenly, sex is the perfect sleep aid.
3. Read a Book
There are so many layers to this tip that one of them is bound to work for you. First of all, how many people were read a bedtime story as children? That memory alone can prompt feelings of comfort and relaxation.
A study from the University of Sussex looked at different relaxation techniques and found that reading for six minutes was all it took to reduce stress levels for participants.
They also found that reading reduced stress by a whopping 68%, which is more than listening to music, walking, and drinking tea or coffee.
Most importantly, if you pick up a book, an actual book, you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Put your Kindle and Nook aside. Science has proven that screen time sabotages sleep. The blue light that’s emitted from the tech is to blame.
Keeping your circadian rhythm ticking, is a powerful way to keep your internal clock on track.
4. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can help you fall asleep as detailed in a Psychology Today article. Anyone who’s been kept awake worrying about paying their bills, mulling over a breakup, considering their career path, or even more mundane thoughts knows that worry ruins your sleep.
Gratitude can reverse your thought process, so instead of spiraling downward, you focus on good things. Keeping a gratitude journal is one way of focusing on the good stuff, but if you don’t want to worry about writing stuff down, just mentally counting our blessings each night can help you fall asleep.
5. Create a Relaxation Routine
An article in InformedHealth.org suggests that nearly one in five people have insomnia issues. The goal of relaxation techniques is to achieve physical and mental relaxation, which would help you drift off.
You know your body best, so you know if your issue is more mental or more physical, and you’ll be the best determiner of what works.
Try the following relaxation techniques, and pick one or modify them to create a hybrid that’s effective for you.
Biofeedback: This requires a biofeedback machine, but you can use a portable one at home to learn how to manage muscle tension and relaxation.
Autogenic training: This technique is similar to biofeedback, but without the machine. You learn how to control the tension and relaxation of different muscle groups and even your involuntary functions.
Jacobson’s muscle relaxation: Another step away from the technique above. This technique focuses on tensing muscle groups and then relaxing them. There are audio training courses for this technique, and it’s fairly easy to learn.
Visualization: This is one of the most common relaxation techniques, and it simply asks that you let your mind drift to a peaceful place, and then you rest there. This helps you focus on your breathing and how calm you feel.
6. Try a Supplement
If your stress is a constant problem, a supplement like LiveWell’s ZenWell may be the answer to better sleep and a more peaceful life.
Organic Ashwagandha and patented L-theanine Amino Acids work together to reduce the symptoms of stress and promote an alert form of relaxation. The boost in alpha waves can improve your quality of sleep and create a snowball effect of restful health with reduced stress.
Learning how to manage your stress levels, sticking to a bedtime routine, and schedule are key steps in your journey of health-lightenment. If you’d like more tips, follow LiveWell on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs.
Sleep can be the one most important thing you do for yourself each day. Even more important than eating right and exercising. Obviously, in the long run, you want those things too, but a good night’s sleep can virtually undo one day of overindulgence and Netflix binging.
Sleep is vital to good health and well-being, physically, mentally, emotionally, and more. Even if you already know how important sleep is, you may still suffer from restlessness, insomnia, and other sleep problems.
Having a handful of proven sleep techniques in your toolkit can help you get to sleep faster so you can have a more restful night. And don’t despair, if one technique isn’t working, try another.
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