In this article, I will give 21 simple ways to fix your sleep problems in order to get all its benefits and to be able to enjoy your life during the time that you are actually awake.
Let’s get started:
- Go to bed by 21:30 tops. Any hour you can get before midnight counts as 2.
- Go to bed every day at the same exact time and wake up every day at the same time to train your sleep cycles.
- Get some (good) carbs at 8 the latest to optimize tryptophan levels.
- Avoid going to bed on a full or a completely empty stomach.
- Avoid all stimulants such as caffeine, green tea or cocoa as well as sports drinks at least 4 hours before sleep.
- Make sure you turn off your cell phone or at least put it on airplane mode when you go to sleep.
- Switch off your alarm. You should be able to wake up before it goes off.
- Supplement with melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by your pineal gland and signals sleep.
If your levels are low, you will need a supplement. Use up to 3 months and then take 1 month off. Make sure to read my article about the benefits of melatonin here.
- Do not read or watch TV or laptop before going to sleep. iPhones, iPads, iPods and other electronic devices that emit light.
Even better, remove all of the above devices from your bedroom. They have no place there.
- Reading a book may not be as bad as the above electronic devices, however in order to do this you will need some source of light, which unfortunately tends to be electric as well.
- Get some exercise before bed but don’t let it get too intense. Yoga and stretching are good options.
- Make sure you sleep in a bedroom that has heavy dark curtains and no sunlight comes in. This is important because when the sun is up as that will stop your melatonin production and you will wake up.
- Adjust the temperature in your bedroom to an appropriate level. That is up to each individual’s preferences but a general rule is not too hot and not too cold.
- Do a few breathing exercises before bed.
- In addition to that, meditation can also help you relax and sleep deeper.
- Leave all work-related things and issues at the office.
- Stop worrying about things you have no control over.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night to go no1 (i.e. pee) , don’t drink any liquids at least 1.5 hour before bed.
- If you feel tired during the day, you can take power naps but never longer than 15 minutes.
- Re-program your sleep patterns slowly. Don’t expect miracles overnight. It may take a few weeks.
If you sleep at 1:00 for example, try to go to bed at 00:45 on the first day. Do this for 3-5 days and then on the 6th day try to go to bed at 00:30.
Repeat this cycle until you have managed to sleep at around 22:00.
- Avoid experimenting with sleep cycles such as the Uberman’s sleep cycle, biphasic or polyphasic sleep unless you wanna live a short life and look 10 years older.
(The only exception would be if your profession requires you to work at night).
As I mentioned in my previous article (an intro to sleep hygiene), the whole world is on monophasic sleep which means they go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and anything other than can cause problems with not only your physical and mental wellness but also your social one.
How to apply all these tips?
- Start slowly: for the next week, pick one tip and try to do it consistently.
- After the first week (provided that you were successful in your first task), pick up an extra item and work on both.
- Continue like this until you have fixed your sleep problems. In this way, you will finally benefit from the miracle of sleep, get enough rest and have enough energy to make the best out of your every day and live a life that is truly strong, healthy and free.
There is a lot more that you can do in order to fix your sleep but these strategies will get you started. There are 3 more things that you need to keep in mind while you are trying to change sleep patterns.
a) Be patient. Just like with any other bodily function, this too will need some time and patience.
b) Do not quit. Would it be a shame if you quit when you are almost there? Keep trying and never quit.
c) Consult your doctor and/or a professional. Taking advice from specialists should be your first approach before trying anything related to health. But above all, fixing your health should be your first priority since health and sleep hygiene are closely related and interdependent.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Putting together this article took a bit of time but it will only take you a second to click on the Share buttons below and show your support to this blog.
Also if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Live your life, strong, healthy and free!
by Nick Sigma
C.W.C, E.H, YRT-200