Do You Have Trouble Falling Asleep?
By Sara Butler
Some nights you might feel like you fall asleep before your head even hits the pillow while other nights can be more of a challenge to get to the land of Nod. You’ve counted sheep, you’ve counted backward – you’ve done everything you can think of to get to sleep without success. So, what now? Well, if you have trouble getting to sleep, then there are a few things you need to be aware of that could be impacting your sleep hours before you even try to get there!
Forget the Sheep
Old wives’ tales such as counting sheep need to be forgotten. They actually will keep your brain more active rather than help you to calm it down. Also, warm milk isn’t going to help you get there. Drinking anything at or right before bedtime may just keep you up with additional trips to the bathroom – and that’s not going to help you fall asleep and stay that way!
Don’t Sleep In
Many won’t want to hear this, but if you find yourself having trouble falling asleep during the week, then you need to make sure you’re not sleeping in on the weekends. Doing so disrupts your sleep schedule for the whole week. What you’re doing is inducing a state of jet lag in your body that sets you up for sleep disruption. If you snooze, you just may lose!
Exercise – But at the Right Time
Exercise will help you to sleep unless you do it late at night. You should avoid hitting the gym within three hours of when you plan to go to sleep at night. But do squeeze it in at any other point in your day, because every 20 minutes of exercise you do four to six hours before it’s time to hit the sack will help you fall asleep that much faster!
Turn Off Your Phone - And Other Electronics
It’s the age of technology. You have a smartphone, tablets, laptops – the list goes on! The problem is that the blue light emitted by your electronic devices is bad for your brain and can suppress the release of melatonin before bed. Melatonin is the hormone that your body uses to induce sleepiness, but a blue light one or two hours before sleep can make it more difficult to get to sleep. If you like to read before bed, it might be time to switch back to old-fashioned paperbacks. And don’t worry, your Facebook friends will understand.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.