Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you have a hard time falling asleep or do you find yourself waking up throughout the night? Do you ever wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning consumed with worry and unable to go back to sleep? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the tips below may help you.
Let go of worry: For many of us, our bed is a place where our worries come to life. Rather than our bed being a quiet sanctuary, it is a place where our thoughts race, consumed by what it is we need to do or what we should have done. Rather than slipping into our safe haven, we often ruminate about the worse case scenario in many situations. In order to have a good night sleep, we need to unload these worries each and every night. When our room is quiet and our worries begin to crawl or even crash into our mind, it can be helpful to visualize dumping them into a large box outside of our bedroom door. In the morning, we can decide whether we want to pick them back up or leave them behind. We may find that some of our worries have diminished by morning, and we don’t need to revisit them at all. As we visualize these worries being dumped into that box outside of our room, we can pray for our mind to be emptied of fear and insecurity.
If you find yourself worrying about tomorrow, remind yourself that this sleep belongs to today. Tell yourself that it is unwise to move into tomorrow without the sleep that belongs to today. Like Emerson stated in the quote above, “Finish each day before you begin the next.” Don’t cheat yourself out of today’s sleep thinking about tomorrow.
Be consistent with your sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. This reinforces your bodies sleep/wake cycle. When you do not have a regular bedtime or wake up time, your body gets confused. Try to stay somewhat consistent, even on the weekends. Some research shows that going to bed early and waking up early promotes better sleep. It may sound like common sense, but you would probably be surprised by how many people either nap during the day or sleep until noon, and then complain that they can’t get to sleep at night.
Get Moving: Daily exercise helps you sleep better. Get moving during the day and you will rest better at night.
Electronics begone: Some research shows that looking at screens before bed stimulates your mind. Try turning off your electronics and doing something relaxing before bed instead. Take a warm bath, read a book, listen to relaxing music…Whatever it is that soothes your soul.
Watch what you put into your body: Caffeine and nicotine will stimulate you for hours, making it much more difficult to get good rest. Alcohol will also interfere with your sleep. It may initially make you drowsy, but it will negatively impact your natural sleep cycle and leave you feeling tired in the morning. Also watch your evening fluid intake or you may be waking up to go to the bathroom all night long.
How about you? Have you found other tips (other than medication) that may help other readers get a better night sleep? If so, please comment and let us know.