How many times have you gotten up in the morning feeling exhausted? It’s a common occurrence for many people — they either aren’t getting enough rest or they aren’t getting quality sleep. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation negatively impacts your mind and body. It’s been linked to depression and anxiety. It can also cause mood swings, keep you from focusing properly, and lower your sex drive. Basically, sleep is important. If you aren’t getting enough quality rest at night, try these tips.

Try Alternative Sleeping Arrangements

Some people have physical problems that make it difficult to sleep laying down, so they spend all night tossing and turning. Others have a spouse that snores loudly, keeping them awake all night. Regardless of your reason, if you aren’t getting quality sleep in your bed, you might want to consider alternative arrangements such as a reclining sleep chair. Alternatively, you could sleep on the couch or an air mattress. If your bed isn’t comfortable enough, consider purchasing a memory foam topper or a completely new mattress.

Stick to a Nighttime Routine

Bedtime routines are just as important for adults as they are for children. It prepares your body and mind for bed, making it easier for you to get to sleep. To create your own bedtime routine, think about everything you normally do at night. Maybe you pick up the house or watch a favorite television show in the evening. If so, think about the time of night you usually complete your evening routine and choose that time to begin getting yourself ready for bed. Your bedtime routine may include:

  • Taking a hot bath to help you relax.
  • Reading for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Putting on your jammies.
  • Meditation.

Your routine is completely up to you, but whatever you choose to do, you need to make sure you complete that exact routine at the same time each night. It helps train your body to sleep at the same time each night. You might be tempted to take a sleeping pill as part of your regular nighttime routine. However, it’s important to remember that sleeping pills are only designed for short-term use. Most have side effects and can be addictive if used for long periods of time.

Quiet Your Mind

Racing thoughts keep a lot of people awake at night, and it’s really hard to turn your brain off. To keep your mind from racing while you’re trying to sleep, do a nighttime brain dump. Grab a pen and paper and spend 10 minutes writing down anything and everything that pops into your mind. This helps you get all of the random thoughts that keep you awake out of your head. It’s also a good idea to make a to-do list for the following day and update your calendar. If you aren’t worried you’ll forget about something, you’re more likely to drift into dreamland quickly. If your mind races after completing your to-do lists and brain dump, download an app of binaural beats to listen to as you fall asleep. Focusing on the beat will keep your mind quiet.

Make the Room Dark and Quiet

One of the main reasons people can’t sleep at night is that there is too much light and/or noise in the room. It’s important to block out all light when you’re trying to sleep, including the light shining from your cell phone or alarm clock. If you can’t get rid of all of the light in the room, wear a sleep mask to bed.

Noise is also a problem for many people. If you’re someone who can hear a pin drop, you should consider wearing earplugs at night to block out the noise. Just make sure you the ones you choose don’t block out so much noise that you have trouble hearing important things such as your smoke alarm.

Your health and mood depend on you getting enough sleep each night. Try to determine what’s causing your insomnia so you can correct the problem.

Photo by Tristan Colangelo on Unsplash