Getting good sleep is how your body recovers from stress and activity during the day. It makes a world of difference on your energy level and performance the next day. It’s vital to having a strong immune system. Being tired can also encourage unhealthy “solutions” due to sugar cravings, caffeine cravings and other unhealthy desires, just because you are trying to give your body an extra jolt to compensate for being tired.
There are some things that can improve sleep and the amount of deep sleep that you get.
However, please beware.. whatever you do, don’t resort to taking OTC sleeping meds. Recent studies have found a definite link between high use of anticholinergic drugs (including popular non-prescription sleep aids and antihistamines such as diphenhydramine) – and an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s a link to one of many articles on the subject: https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20150126/use-of-certain-allergy-depression-meds-tied-to-higher-odds-for-dementia#1
My Best Tips for Good Sleep
Having a stable sleep schedule helps a lot too. You need to find your sweet spot as to your best schedule. I tend to wake up early, so I have found it is best for me to go to sleep around 10 or 10:30 at night. I wake up at 6 or 6:30 with a good night’s sleep. If I stay up much later than that I usually find I get a crappy night of sleep. If you want to sleep later in the morning past sunrise, then I recommend blackout curtains or shades to keep the room dark.
Isolating and avoiding triggers. There are things that can trigger a bad night’s sleep. Consuming a lot of MSG in your food is one. Another is alcohol. And of course caffeine or dark chocolate late in the day or evening as stimulants can keep you from going to sleep or sleeping restfully.
Melatonin at the right dose and in the right format can help. I have talked to many people who told me that they have tried it and it did nothing for them. I believe this, in some cases, might be due to a wrong dose or version. I use two types on melatonin every night — one that is time released and one that goes into the system immediately. When I first started taking melatonin I use to have a problem of waking up during the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Bu then I discovered the time released version. So now I take both. You need to find the right dose that works best for you. I use 5 mg time released and 5mg of the immediate release.
Magnesium supplementation is a vital mineral that 80% of the population is deficient in and it acts as a natural muscle relaxer. For this too it is important to find the right dose. I take magnesium every night and it helps my sleep, my muscles, my regularity and so much more. Start at a low dose and increase. If you take too much you may find yourself running to the bathroom, so take it slow.
Soothing teas such as camomile or teas to help relax you such as “nighty night” tea or “sleepy time” tea,
A good mattress can make a huge difference. A mattress that is bowed or warped or sinks in the middle or forms canu like sagging spots where you sleep are not only not comfortable, they are not good for your back and can result in back and joint pain over time. A mattress with good support and with the right level of firmness for your body is a very wise investment indeed. A mattress that is too soft and squishy can also cause problems. Or a mattress that is too firm can also be uncomfortable.
Keep it cooler at night in your room but stay warm with adequate covers. Sleep studies have shown that sleeping in a cooler room helps sleep.
Hot bath with epsom salts can help to relax you and get more magnesium into your body without going through your digestive system.
Limit Caffeine. If you have sleep problems, I recommend consuming no caffeine after a certain cut off time. I cut most of my caffeine off at lunch time, other than the small amounts that are still in decaffeinated coffee, and no decaf several hours before bedtime. Keep in mind that there are numerous things that contain caffeine or stimulants including black and green tea, chocolate and sodas. I would definitely cut out all heavily caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull and Monster drinks completely. If you get better sleep you won’t need them.
Don’t let yourself get worked up about not sleeping. Anxiety about not sleeping can get you wound up resulting in increased adrenaline that will then prevent you from getting to sleep. There is a new product on the market called “Dodow”, which you can get on Amazon and other online stores that helps with this by slowing your metabolism down and calming your mind. The reviews for this are very good although I have no tried it.
No pets in the bed, or preferably in your bedroom, as they can wake you in the night and disturb your sleep. Once you get to sleep you need to get through all of the stages of sleep including that so vital stage of deep sleep. Pets sleep lighter and tend of move often.
If you are not sleeping well, this can adversely affects so many aspects of your life. If you are getting poor sleep, you need to take steps to remedy it without taking OTC meds or prescription meds if at all possible.