Counting sheep, drinking warm milk and being sung to may have helped you fall asleep as a little kid, but it probably doesn’t do much to cure your insomnia now. Having the occasional late night is normal, but if you are one of the 35% of Americans who don’t regularly get seven hours of sleep a night, then you are at higher risk for heart attacks, depression, diabetes and cancer among other issues according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not to mention, a good night’s sleep just makes you feel better! Improve your sleep this year by making a few small adjustments to your routine.
Change Bad Sleep Habits
Many of us, knowingly or not, regularly engage in bad sleep habits. The National Sleep Foundation recommends having the same bedtime and wake up time every day instead of sleeping in on weekends, avoiding bright lights (like from phones and TVs) in the evenings, and skipping alcohol and caffeine before bed. And just like babies, adults need a little winding down, bedtime routine before bed. Taking a shower or bath, reading, meditating or journaling are great options that will help you relax and fall asleep easier.
Sometimes, you just need to switch up a few things about your sleeping situation to help you feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Start by investing in a high-quality set of sheets, like these silky, 600-thread count sheets from Neiman Marcus designed to keep you feeling snug all night long. Also, block out noise and distractions with an ambient noise maker. We like the Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds from Nordstrom, as they fit cozily in your ears to deliver pre-programmed soothing sounds.
Use Natural Remedies
Before turning to sleeping medications, try natural remedies to help you get more shut-eye. Whole Foods Market offers a lavender essential oil, which can be diffused into the air, rubbed on your palms or sprinkled into your bath water to promote relaxation and help you sleep. Or you could take sleep supplements, like the Hum Nutrition Beauty zzZz Sleep Supplement from Sephora that contains melatonin, vitamin B6 and other ingredients designed to help you fall and stay asleep.
Seek Professional Help
If none of these methods help, you may need to see a doctor. You can participate in a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, insomnia or another sleeping disorder that could be messing with your nighttime rest. From there, your doctor can determine the best methods for treatment. Not getting enough sleep is nothing to be proud of; take steps today to make sleep (and your health) a priority!