It can be difficult to maintain a consistent sleep schedule in this day and age. Instead of catching quality zzz’s, people ready for bed at nightfall, lay their heads to rest, and then immediately feel awake. This is an all-too-common occurrence, and yet a large percentage of the adult population experience suboptimal sleep. Failure to get sufficient sleep leads to unhealthy habits that make you function at a lower level the following day.
When you are unable to fall asleep, you rob yourself of the sleep that your body really needs. If this habit persists, you essentially accumulate sleep debt, which can impact productivity and lead to a general feeling of fatigue. This may result in the question: “How do I make myself tired and sleepy at night?” There are various practices and tricks that contribute to a better night’s sleep. Continue reading to learn about helpful techniques that can help you fall asleep when counting sheep doesn’t cut it.
Take A Warm Shower Or Bath
As your circadian rhythm gets closer to sleepy time, the body starts to cool down naturally. Although it sounds false, taking a warm shower or bath can accelerate this process because the heat can help lower the body’s core temperature. Hastening the cooling process ultimately signals your body that it’s time for sleep. Consider showering or drawing a bath about one to two hours before you want to go to bed.
Lower The Temperature
Speaking of temperature, the temperature of your bedroom can affect your ability to fall asleep. If your room is too warm, it’s more difficult for the body to cool down, which, as we mentioned previously, makes you feel tired. Ideally, your bedroom should remain between 60 and 67º F, but conserving energy is paramount nowadays, so that is hard to achieve in warmer climates. If the air is fresh outside, open the windows and place a fan next to the window to invite colder air inside.
Watch What And When You Eat
The food you eat before bed can influence your ability to fall asleep or remain asleep. According to research, eating a lot of high-carb meals for dinner and later at night can be detrimental to a night of proper rest. One review of studies found that even though high-carb diets may make you fall asleep faster, the sleep isn’t as restful. On the other hand, high-fat meals can promote deeper and more restful sleep. Several older and newer studies concur that the high-carb/low-fat diets do not contribute to quality sleep. If you want to eat more carbs for dinner, consider eating at least four hours or more before bedtime, giving your body enough time to digest the carbs.
Listen To Relaxing Music
Music can wake you up and calm you down, which means you can use it as a tool to help you go to sleep. Some studies found that music significantly improved the quality of sleep, especially for those with insomnia and other sleep disorders. One study, for example, found that 24 young adults who listened to sedative music experienced deeper sleep. Listening to Buddhist music, which often incorporates different Buddhist chants, can be a great tool for better sleep. Studies show that listening to this type of music can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as it helps to put you in a meditative, relaxed state.
Practice Yoga Nidra
Experts say that a little namaste before bedtime may contribute to a better night’s sleep. Specifically, the practice of yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, is a deeply meditative and relaxing practice. The ancient practice involves lying in Savasana, or corpse pose, for about 30 minutes to an hour. Ideally, a yoga teacher or guided meditation video leads the practice, allowing you to completely relax the mind and focus on the words.
Experiment With Aromatherapy
Involving various essential oils, aromatherapy is a common practice among people who have a hard time falling asleep. Different essential oils, specifically lavender, damask rose, and peppermint essential oils, exhibit relaxing and calming properties. A systematic review of 12 studies found that aromatherapy was effective at improving sleep quality. Add essential oils to a diffuser in your bedroom and you may find that they encourage sleep. Try a combination of relaxing music and aromatherapy for even better results.