Are you a person who just can’t switch off at night? Does your mind go into overdrive when you get into bed? Looking at your sleep health could be the answer!
A significant number of people find that, just when it is time to go to sleep, our brains have other ideas. From racing thoughts to gnawing worries, our minds can be our worst enemy – especially when relaxing and going to sleep is on the agenda. This, in turn, leads to poor or inadequate sleep and daytime weariness, and a vicious cycle ensues.
Understanding Why Sleep Health is Important
We all know that being healthy is important for a long and rewarding life. Yet too many people don’t understand how important a role sleep plays in this.
Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can result in:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Compromised performance
- Memory issues
- Depressed immune function
- Increased risk of accidents
- Increased risk of diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke, and cancer
Is Your Mind Racing?
Did you know that humans experience 50,000 thoughts per day!
Falling asleep quickly and appropriately is the critical first step to a good night’s rest. To achieve this, you need to be able to quieten your mind.
This can be easier said than done! From rehashing the day before to worrying about what is to come, our minds have a nasty habit of hijacking our ability to relax and get to sleep. Why does this happen? Racing thoughts can arise from anxiety, excitement, stress, worry, over-stimulation, relationship issues, and conditions such as ADHD, OCD, Bipolar Disorder, depression, and as a side effect of some medications.
Lying in bed is often the only time we are unhindered by environmental distractions and left alone with our thoughts. The vast majority of the thoughts that haunt us in the dead of night are not positive (though excitement can also disrupt sleep).
The mind-body connection is very strong, and stressful thoughts can translate to a stressed body. A stressed body and mind will not go to sleep – and if they do, you can be plagued by unsettling dreams and wakefulness.
There are various sleep health related methods to “switch off” and enable a better night’s sleep, and by calming your body, you can often calm your mind – and vice versa.
10 Sleep Health Tips for Switching Off
1. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule
Aim to go to bed at the same time each night and to wake at the same time each morning. This will establish your circadian rhythms (internal clock) and promote good sleep patterns.
2. Create a Pre-Sleep Routine
This will help you wind down. Routine is craved by the human body, and establishing a pre-sleep ritual will associate particular activities with going to sleep.
These may include:
- Taking a warm bath
- Listening to calming music
- Having a warm milk drink or chamomile tea
- Reading a novel
3. Avoid Digital Stimulation Before Bed
Electronic screens are the enemy of sleep. They disrupt the brain chemicals dopamine and melatonin and stimulate your mind. At least 1 hour before bedtime, switch off smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, and TVs. If you read e-books, make sure they do not have a backlit screen.
4. Make Bed a Work- and TV-Free Zone
Mind association is powerful. Your bed should be for sleeping, resting, and intimacy with your partner – and nothing else (except reading a book before sleep if you’re so inclined). Do not do paperwork, watch TV, play digital games, use a computer, etc in your bedroom, and especially not on your bed.
5. Make your Bedroom a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Sleep is best achieved in a quiet, dark, cool room. Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable.
6. Wind Down with Mindful Relaxation
Focus on your breathing, taking several deep breaths and counting while inhaling and exhaling. This will focus your mind and relax your body. Challenge and dismiss any negative thoughts that arise.
7. Focus Positively
Eliminate stress before bedtime and focus on the moment. Think of happy, cal memories and events. Dismiss negative thoughts as they arise.
8. Keep a notebook, diary, journal, or pad beside your bed and write down worries, thoughts, to-do lists, and other things you feel are important to focus on tomorrow. This is remarkably effective for letting go of worries and concerns and knowing you can pick them up in the morning if you need to. Often, in the light of day, you’ll realise they were not of nearly as much importance as you’d thought!
9. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise keeps you healthy, balances your hormones, and helps your body feel ready for rest at night. It also has major benefits for your mental and emotional wellbeing. Exercise earlier in the day, or at least a few hours before bedtime.
10. Address Issues Such as Snoring
Snoring dramatically compromises sleep, and so does having a snoring partner. By actively addressing the contributors to snoring, maintaining healthy habits, and using the anti-snoring solutions that work for you, you can make getting to sleep and staying asleep much easier.
Stop Snoring to Sleep Better
Snoring is just one more hindrance to a good night’s sleep. The solution may lie in SnoreMD: the anti-snoring device which gently repositions the lower jaw. Worn in the mouth at night while you sleep, it is an effective tool to minimize or stops snoring.
SnoreMD is risk-free. Affordable and reusable, it is the ideal solution to snoring for any adult over the age of eighteen years.