Tired of feeling tired? Do you spend most of your night tossing and turning? Is sleep deprivation impacting your time at home or work? Getting more sleep may only require a few simple lifestyle adjustments. Check out these five ways to get more sleep, courtesy of Oakland Psychological Clinic.
Establish a Nightly Routine
Having a routine greatly increases your ability to fall asleep. If you go to bed around the same time each night, your body will start feeling tired around that time. It’s muscle memory, just like the muscle memory you use to ride a bike or drive to work each day. Create a pattern that you can follow every night. Include time to wind down and get your mind/body ready for sleep. You may not notice the effects right away, but soon enough, you’ll feel naturally compelled to fall asleep each night.
Limit Your Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine interrupts your body’s natural energy cycles. This could inhibit your ability to fall asleep. You may need that kickstart to get you through the day, but try to limit it as much as possible. Be particularly leery of caffeine in the afternoon and evening hours. Reserve that time for relaxing and winding down.
Don’t Look at Your Phone Before Bed
The blue light from your phone screen keeps your mind racing, long after you stop looking at the phone. Avoid checking your phone for at least 30 minutes before bed. Don’t check your phone if you wake up in the night either. This may make it difficult to fall back asleep. If you need to see the time, consider putting a digital clock in your room. You can also turn on your phone’s blue light filter to reduce the effects of the phone screen.
Avoid Long Naps, Especially Late in the Day
A quick power nap may not interrupt your sleeping abilities. Long naps will though. Ideally, a nap should be between 20 and 40 minutes long. This will give you a quick energy boost, similar to a cup of coffee. Keep your naps as early in the day as possible so you feel tired at the end of the night.
Don’t Make Sleeping a Job
Going to sleep shouldn’t feel like a job. If you feel pressured to fall asleep, you will only derail your progress. Don’t think about what time it is or how much time you have left in the night. Rest is still valuable, even if it does not include deep sleep. As your body gets used to your nighttime routine, falling asleep should become second nature.
Bonus Tip: Work with a Counselor to Improve Sleep
Mental health struggles like depression and anxiety can contribute to sleep struggles. By working with a counselor to resolve those issues, you may improve your quality of sleep. Oakland Psychological Clinic has eight therapist offices in Michigan. Our multi-faceted staff includes anxiety therapists, depression therapists, grief counselors, couples counselors, family counselors, and more. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a therapist near you, contact us today.