Being at home, you’d think it means days of sleeping tight and sleeping in. But you’re here, which means you’re somehow having a hard time sleeping. You and 164 million other people in the U.S. have the same problem.
Why Is It Difficult to Get Enough Good Sleep?
Insomnia or the difficulty or inability to sleep well at night occurs for various reasons. It may be because of the medication you’re taking, you’ve had too much caffeine, or you’re under stress. The latter is more likely to happen during these times, what with the pandemic.
Apart from difficulty getting enough sleep, there might also be issues in the quality of sleep you’re getting. You may experience a fitful sleep or an anxiety-ridden slumber, none of which are relaxing and may result in you feeling crankier than before you closed your eyes.
If counting sheep is not boring you into a long and restful sleep, we have a few tips on how you can get more quality shut-eye below.
1. Avoid long daytime naps
You might be getting a massage at a spa or coming home from a grocery trip, and you’re thinking, “Now is the perfect time to nap.” While short power naps, 20 to 30 minutes long, are beneficial to keep you alert, anything longer can interfere with your ability to sleep at night. Sleeping for long periods and irregular napping during the day can confuse your internal clock, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
2. Stay away from caffeine late in the day
A cup of coffee or tea wakes you up in the morning or the middle of the day, thanks to these beverages’ caffeine content. But you shouldn’t have another cup after dinner. The stimulating effects of caffeine can take hours to wear off, so even if you have dinner at six o’clock, you might still find it difficult to sleep when midnight comes.
3. Create a relaxing sleep environment
For your mind to quiet down enough to let you sleep, it needs as little stimulation as possible. Bright light, noise, and the general feeling of discomfort can trigger your mind to stay active, so your bedroom must be as relaxing as possible. Use bedsheets that give you the most comfort, regulate the temperature, and make sure to block out external noise. If you can’t sleep in utter silence, the repetitive and relaxing sounds of white noise might help you fall asleep, too.
4. Limit exposure to light an hour before bed
Exposure to light messes with your circadian rhythm or “body clock.” When your room is too bright, it’s a signal for your mind to stay alert, keeping you from sleeping. If you can’t sleep in complete darkness, have a night light somewhere in your room. You should also refrain from watching TV and using your phone at least an hour before going to bed as the light from these screens are bright enough to stimulate your brain activity.
Sleeping is one of the most restorative activities you can do. Getting a good night’s rest is essential to your health, and there’s nothing more important than that, especially in times like these. Implement the strategies above and start sleeping better today.