Insomnia. Sleep apnea. Snoring. Nightmares. Narcolepsy. All of these are common sleep disorders that could be keeping you up at night. Not only is having difficulty sleeping at night a huge hindrance in your daily life, but it can also have serious side effects.
Not getting enough sleep can:
- Lead to anxiety or depression
- Weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds and the flu
- Negatively affect both your long term and short-term memory
We know how it feels. You’ve tried everything to get more sleep. Luckily for you, we’re rounding up some new sleep habits to help you with your quality shut-eye.
1. Practice Positivity
Researchers at the University of Manchester conducted a study with more than 400 adults who reported having a sleeping disorder. The participants created a list each night of things that made them grateful. In three weeks, these participants reported back that they were experiencing deeper and more restorative sleep. If you want to harness the power of positive thoughts for better rest, keep a gratitude journal.
2. Eat More Avocados
It’s no secret that a better diet can lead to better sleep. Individuals who are sleep deprived tend to eat more fat, more calories, and less protein than well-rested individuals. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a diet low in added sugars and high in fiber might help you drift off more easily.
Eating a balanced diet is essential to sleeping well. You can start with foods that help to regulate melatonin and give your sleep cycle a boost. These include eggs, dairy, fish, poultry, and, of course, avocados. Steer clear of coffee or alcohol: they make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
3. Try Out ASMR
ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, might just help you sleep at night. When someone is experiencing ASMR, they feel a calming sensation usually reported as a tingling that can move from the head and to the spine. Specific sounds are thought to trigger ASMR, like fingernails clacking on a desk or even people whispering or eating. Some people swear by the fact that it makes them feel relaxed and tired. Spotify and Youtube all offer ASMR channels for you to consider.
4. Take up Yoga
Good news: winding down with yoga in the evening puts your body in a more relaxed, sleep-ready state. In your practice, you might want to incorporate the 4-7-8 breathing technique to help you sleep. Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and release for eight seconds. When you’re lying awake at night, this method of breathing helps give your body more oxygen and might take you to dreamland.
On top of yoga, sweating it out could be your secret to sleep. Those who partake in an intense exercise, like going for a run in the morning have been proven to spend 75 percent longer in the reparative stages of the sleep cycle than those who exercise at later times that day.
5. Blow Some Bubbles
If you’re sleep-deprived, picking up bubbles might be the answer to your worries. Similar to the 4-7-8 method, blowing bubbles helps you to concentrate on your breathing. You can use bubble-blowing as a form of meditation. Your mind will be focused on the fact that you’re doing a silly activity, and not the stress of the day. Close your eyes, count your breaths, and then head to bed.
6. Ditch Your Old Mattress
The life expectancy of a mattress is only about seven to eight years, depending on your age, weight, and lifestyle. Replace your old mattress with the Ananda Adjustable Base Sleep System. This mattress and adjustable base fits in most bed frames, and offers anti-snore, pillow tilt, dual massage, zero gravity features and more. This elegant sleep technology just might solve your sleep problems.
7. Use a Sleep Cycle App
It might be time for you to use a smart alarm clock. There are countless apps out there designed to monitor your sleep, and then gently wake you up when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep. By using the app to analyze your sleep patterns, you can also begin to identify when you’re waking up in the night and see what phase of sleep you were in. Many apps also measure health metrics like your blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and diet to help point out why you might have trouble sleeping.
8. Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Your sleep could be suffering because your pillow isn’t up to par, and making your sleeping position uncomfortable. Try to keep your neck and your head straight, and don’t twist. When your spine is bent, it could cause your back to ache. The Ananda Pearl and Gel Infused Memory Foam Pillow delivers the perfect loft height to keep your body lined up correctly, and helps to neutralize variations in temperature as you sleep.
9. Begin Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
When you’re truly suffering from a sleep disorder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, might be an effective solution. This is a program that you can go through with a therapist where you work to identify the behaviors that might be causing sleeplessness. Usually, you will take sleep assessments and make a sleep diary. You then create methods to combat those behaviors, like replacing negative thoughts and creating more healthy habits.
10. Employ the Sleep Paradox
A little reverse psychology could go a long way in your bedtime ritual. It might sound backwards, but focusing on staying awake could actually put you to sleep. This method is called Paradoxical Intention, and is defined by avoiding the attempt to sleep. The idea is that people who can’t sleep are often suffering from performance anxiety, or being too focused on the need to fall asleep. When that fear is removed, you’ll eliminate sleep anxiety, and your sleep frustration could disappear.
11. Treat Yourself to a Massage
Massages help people to calm down and feel more relaxed. While having the time to get a massage every day in unlikely, the dual massage feature on the Ananda adjustable base can help lull you to sleep, and can be adjusted to your preferred speed and strength all in the comfort of your home.
12. Add Octacosanol to Your Routine
Melatonin supplements can help you fall asleep and stay asleep by regulating dopamine levels. Studies also show that octacosanol, a supplement found in sugar cane and other plant oils, helps to fight off stress at a cellular level. If you’re taking melatonin and still can’t fall asleep, adding octacosanol supplements is an addition you might want to try*.
13. Find a Trigger
Getting yourself into a routine before bed can tell your brain that you’re ready to sleep. Take note of when you start feeling sleepy. Then, find a trigger for when you’re drowsy. Try touching your nose or your cheek to tell your brain that this action makes you feel sleepy. The same might go for a particular song or smell that you can use to wire your brain into feeling tired.
You’ve heard it before: you sleep for about one third of your life. Your entire quality of life, though, is suffering when you’re sleep deprived. Allow yourself to finally get that rejuvenating, peaceful sleep that you’ve been chasing with Ananda.
*Disclaimer: Readers should consult with their physicians before making any dramatic lifestyle changes. This blog is for educational purposes only.