We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping. Or trying to sleep for millions of people around the world who have trouble getting a good night’s rest every night. Having a good sleep every day is important, but many people have trouble getting a proper sleep without constantly waking up, having trouble falling asleep, or tossing and turning all night. I work a night shift job that requires me to sleep during the day, from about 9 or 10am until 4 or 5 in the evening is when I sleep. Believe me when I say I’ve gone through every scenario you could imagine trying to figure out how to get the best sleep possible. Over the last few years while working this shift I have come to some conclusions about how to get a high quality sleep, even during the day with all the noise and light that goes with it. I suspect that these tips will also help people who have trouble sleeping at night, and also people who sleep during the day like myself.
The most crucial component to getting a great sleep is to sleep in the dark. I know it sounds pretty common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t actually sleep in the dark. When I say dark, I mean dark. If you can see your hand in front of your face when you’re lying in bed trying to sleep, it’s not dark enough. The reason it’s so important to sleep in the dark is so that your pineal gland begins to make . Melatonin is a hormone with anti-oxidant properties that is produced when you are asleep in the dark. If you’re not sleeping in the dark for periods of longer than 4 hours or so your body will not make enough melatonin. So make sure you block out any light coming in your windows and also turn off or cover any LCD clocks or cell phones or electronics that are plugged in where you are sleeping.
Another thing I found useful was to do a light stretch before bed. Nothing intensive but just to loosen up a little before spending several hours in bed. You don’t want to do anything too stimulating before going to sleep. Watching TV, playing video games, listening to fast paced or dance music, and consuming stimulants (including sugar and caffeine) are all things that you should avoid for at least 2 hours before you want to go to sleep. Things that can help you to fall asleep easier could be meditations, light yoga, reading, journaling, listening to relaxing or meditative music, listening to white noise, keeping the room slightly cool (not warm!), unplug any electronics in the room. Don’t think too much about work or school or anything stressful before bed either, you don’t want to get your mind racing just before bed. Taking a shower or sitting in a sauna before you go to bed could be helpful too, as your body cools down when you get out it will help you fall asleep. Also, don’t drink too much before you go to bed so that you don’t have to get up to pee during the night. If you do have to get up during the night, don’t turn the lights on! Your body will instantly turn off any melatonin production if you do!
I recently tried supplementing melatonin once in a while. I was having a few days of troubled sleeping and decided to give it a try. I am very glad I did. I took equivalent of 3mg of melatonin each night before bed for a week and I can honestly say that those were the best sleeps I can remember. This may be helpful for people who have little melatonin in their bodies to begin with, but I don’t think it should be used as a long term solution for sleeping. It definitely helps you get a wonderful full nights rest and is much safer than prescription sleeping medications. Melatonin is best taken in strips or an oral spray like Dr. Mercola has in his products section. Taking the tablet form of melatonin takes 20-30 minutes for it to hit your bloodstream, while the other two methods are much more rapid. I hope this article helps somebody get the best sleep of their life!
- Sleep – We vastly underestimate its power and under-utilize it to keep us healthy (gettheskinney.com)
- How To Relieve Insomnia With Acupressure (howcast.com)
- The 25 Hour Day and Sleep (myventurepad.com)