Tips for Reducing Restless Nights of Tossing and Turning

It happens to all of us: nights we can’t sleep no matter what we do. Even if your insomnia is caused by stress or some other outside influence, simply changing a few habits will help you sleep like a baby.

Don’t sleep during the day.

We know how refreshing naps are during a hectic day. However, they can also be responsible for an awful night’s sleep. If you feel drowsy during the day, resist the urge to nap. Get out of the house—go for a walk, visit a friend, or try some retail therapy.

You may be sleepy during the day due to your food choices. Try adding a little more healthy protein to your lunch, reduce sugar or simple carbs, and drink more water. Too much caffeine can leave you tired later, so perhaps you should stop drinking coffee midmorning.

Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s time to set up a sleep schedule. While sleeping in on the weekends is a glorious thing, a schedule will keep you alert and refreshed every day.

Make sure your mattress is right for you and in good shape.

A worn-out mattress set does more harm than just keeping you awake—it can cause back and joint pain. If your mattress is more than 5 years old, it may be time to replace it. Make sure it is big enough for you and your partner to stretch out without disturbing the other. A queen mattress is the minimum size you should have if you sleep with someone else or with pets.

Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed.

Not only can caffeine and alcohol stimulate you and keep you from falling asleep, but they can also wake you up in the middle of the night. You don’t want to go to bed hungry or overly full for the same reasons. If you feel hungry before bed, have a light snack, such as a piece of cheese or half an apple with peanut butter.

Do any vigorous exercising a few hours before bed. Meditating or yoga is fine to do closer to bedtime, as it relaxes you.

Create an environment that helps you sleep.

Everyone’s preferences are different, but some general tips will help you sleep. Wind down by reading a book or creating your own calming ritual. Keep the room dark and cool, and turn your alarm clock around so you don’t see its light. If your neighborhood tends to be noisy, use a white noise machine or a fan.

If your insomnia lasts longer than a week or two, contact your doctor.

What do you do to help yourself sleep?