Many people have trouble sleeping because of various reasons. Whether it is difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or just feeling rested, poor sleep can have a major impact on overall health. According to Michelle Drerup, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist, personal lifestyle habits are often the cause of sleep problems. Fortunately, these habits are easy to change, and making even small adjustments can lead to better sleep. 

How do your habits contribute to this problem?

People with chronic insomnia often find themselves staring at the ceiling at night, worrying about sleep and the effects of not getting enough rest. Despite addressing underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, there remains the possibility for sleep difficulties to persist. This can lead to increased agitation and tension as bedtime approaches.

However, treating chronic insomnia is important for overall health and well-being. There are a number of effective treatments available that can help people get the rest they need. 

As per the opinion of Dr. Drerup, worrying about getting enough sleep can actually make it harder to fall asleep. When you’re anxious about sleeping, your body becomes more alert and you may find yourself lying in bed wide awake. 

For some people, sleep comes easily. They drift off as soon as their head hits the pillow and wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested. But for others, falling asleep is a nightly battle. If you’re struggling to get enough shut-eye, you’re not alone. Fortunately, Dr. Drerup has some solutions. 

1. Follow the same sleep schedule

Most people find it easier to fall asleep when they stick to a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. People who don’t follow a regular sleep schedule often find that they have trouble falling asleep because their body’s internal clock is out of sync. 

Dr. Drerup says, “By keeping a regular sleep schedule, you can train your body to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly. In addition, regular sleep habits can help improve your overall health and well-being. So if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, make sure to keep your sleep schedule consistent.”

2. Spend some quiet time before going to bed

As the day comes to an end, it can be difficult to quiet your mind and prepare for sleep. However, taking some time to relax before bed can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep. Try to avoid watching television or working on the computer in the hours leading up to sleep. The bright screens can be stimulating and make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, opt for a calm activity like reading or listening to soft music. 

3. Keep yourself distracted if you can’t sleep

While there are many potential causes of insomnia, one common reason is simply being unable to turn off your racing thoughts at night. If you find yourself in this situation, there is hope. One strategy for promoting sleep is to distract yourself with a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.

The key is to find an activity that will calm your mind and help you forget about whatever is keeping you awake. When you take a break from your thoughts, you give yourself the chance to fall asleep more easily. 

4. Try to relax your mind and body

While there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids available, you may be reluctant to use them due to the potential for addiction and side effects. Instead, try to learn how to relax. A few relaxation techniques are highly effective, such as meditation, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation as they can help you fall asleep without resorting to medication.

Dr. Drerup suggests practicing guided imagery as it involves picturing oneself in a peaceful setting, such as a meadow or a beach. On the other hand, progressive muscle relaxation entails tensing and relaxing the muscles, from the toes to the head. Practicing these techniques on a regular basis can help to reduce stress levels and promote better sleep. These plush mattresses are sure to help you to relax into a peaceful night’s slumber.

5. Maintain a sleep log

A sleep log can help you understand your sleep patterns and habits. “By keeping track of when you go to bed and when you wake up, you can get a better sense of how much sleep you’re getting each night.”

It can help you to identify any potential obstacles to a good night’s sleep. For example, if you find that you often have trouble falling asleep, you may want to try avoiding caffeine in the evening. Download a sample sleep log from The Sleep Foundation to start maintaining your sleep log.