• Dr Ashutosh Srivastava

Get a Sound Sleep

Whether it’s down to anxiety, stress, a poor sleeping pattern or you’re just very unlucky finding yourself staring at the ceiling as the clock ticks by is something no one will enjoy. Everyone needs a goodnight’s sleep but achieving that isn’t always easy. So, what should you do if you suddenly find yourself unable to get to sleep? Well, thankfully there are a number of things you can do to help you get back to sleep. So, if you suddenly find yourself tossing and turning in bed try some of these tips.

Listen To Nature

Okay, this one might sound a little strange but don’t worry you don’t have to actually go outside. Listening to ambient sounds especially nature sounds might sound like it will just keep you awake but there is actually a lot of evidence to show that these sounds do help you sleep! It is believed that nature sounds achieve this because the constant sound is registered as non-threatening by your brain. So, on a subconscious level, these sounds help reduce the flight or fight response in your body and actively help you relax and destress. You can listen to nature sounds quite easily these days as well. You could use YouTube, nature sound websites, apps or even CDs. There is also a wide range of different sounds so you’ll never get bored either. If you are really struggling to get to sleep you might be surprised by just how effective nature sounds can be.

Do Some Simple Exercises

No one really wants to get out of bed to do some exercises, do they? But if you are struggling to get asleep you might be surprised by how effective it is! By doing some short intensive exercises like some medium weight lifting or some moderately intensive cardio you can tire out your body and help expend any energy. However, it’s important you keep these sessions short because if you exercise for too long then you could actually keep yourself awake for longer. Another way to utilise exercise to help you get some sleep is to try to have a couple of exercise/ workout sessions throughout the day. One in the morning and another in the afternoon or evening will help you relieve some of the tension/ energy you’ve built-up throughout the day. Then when it gets later you’ll often find getting to sleep much easier.

Take A Warm Bath or Shower

Having a warm bath before you go to bed can help you relax and ease your muscles which is exactly what you want before bedtime. However, make sure you plan your bath accordingly you will ideally want to take it at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. If you only have a shower then you should follow the same advice in regards to the time. However, you will need to take a bit more care when it comes to the temperature a hot shower will likely have the opposite effect and will effectively reenergize your body thus keeping you awake for longer. But you don’t want a cold shower either as that is a tried and tested way to keep yourself awake. Instead, go for a more lukewarm shower which will help you ease your muscles and relax without shaking away any tiredness.

Consider Your Diet

One of the biggest reasons people struggle to get asleep at night is because of their diet. What you eat and drink (and when you eat and drink it) can have a big impact on your sleeping pattern. So, if you are regularly struggling to fall asleep you should look at fixing your diet. For one thing, you should try to avoid eating or drinking anything at least a couple of hours before you plan to go to bed. Nighttime snacking is one of the biggest problems when it comes to getting to sleep especially if you eat sugary snacks like chocolate, sweets or crisp. You will also want to avoid caffeine-rich beverages like coffee, tea, and sugary pops. Instead, opt for a warm drink like hot milk or herbal tea instead.

Get Up For A While

Finally, my last tip is to just get up for a little while. Rather than tossing or turning willing yourself to get to sleep, you should try getting up and doing something. Don’t turn on the TV or play video games that could just end up ensuring you stay up for longer. Instead, try to read a book or maybe take care of a few chores like washing the dishes or doing some ironing. This can help you expend some energy and make you feel more tired and ready to sleep. After 10 – 20 minutes go back to bed and you will hopefully fall asleep very quickly.

So, that is 5 tips to help you fall asleep. There are few things worse than struggling to get to sleep as the clock ticks by. But we’ve all likely experienced it once or twice before and these tips will be a big help when it comes to combating your next sleepless night.

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