How to Prime Yourself for a Good Night’s Sleep

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It’s not hard to see why sleep problems are such a common affliction. Between overstimulation from our various gadgets and the countless stressors of everyday life, many of us have trouble getting ourselves primed for a peaceful night’s respite. Needless to say, trouble falling asleep can result in diminished quality of slumber, which can turn basic functionality into an arduous chore. Anyone looking for effective ways to prep their brains and bodies for a good night’s sleep would do well to consider the following measures.

Shut Off All Screens

Many of us seldom stop to think about just how much our lives revolve around various devices. From smartphones to computers to other modern gadgets, rarely does a moment go by in which we’re not staring at a screen. However, as convenient as these devices can be, they can also interfere with our quality of slumber. So, if you’ve developed a habit of bringing your phone, tablet or any other screen-based gizmos into bed with you, you could be inadvertently sabotaging your own sleep schedule. These devices keep our mind engaged and delay the release of melatonin, thus making it difficult for some people to promptly fall asleep after using them.

If you suspect too much screen time is interfering with your quality of sleep, there are a number of effective steps you can take towards correcting the problem. For starters, take care to shut off any screens 30 minutes to a full hour before going to bed. This will provide your brain with ample time to relax and get in the mood for sleep. Secondly, avoid reaching for screen-based devices if you awaken in the middle of the night and are unable to get back to sleep. Instead of tiring you out, this will only serve to stimulate your brain and make falling back asleep even more of a challenge. 

Engage in Relaxing Activities

Engaging in relaxing activities in the leadup to bedtime can be a great way to get your mind and body primed for sleep. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of activities that will help ease your entry into dreamland. For example, if you have a fondness for the written word, doing some pre-bedtime reading can help you come down from the day and get you sufficiently relaxed for sleep. Similarly, those of us who enjoy writing can effectively relax by journaling about the day that’s now coming to a close.

Meditation and deep breathing exercises can also function as invaluable pre-bedtime activities. Such activities can help calm a mind that’s constantly racing and set the stage for a peaceful night’s slumber. As an added bonus, if you have difficulty with concentration, the aforementioned activities stand to heighten your abilities in this area.   

Invest in Comfortable Bedding

Bedding that’s lacking in the comfort department can be a huge hindrance to sleep quality. So, if your mattress, pillows, sheets or comforters leave much to be desired, there’s no time like the present to invest in some much-needed upgrades. For example, when shopping for mattresses, many of us make a point of seeking out the cheapest possible options. While frugality is often something to be applauded, pinching pennies is unlikely to serve you well when it comes to overnight comfort. Saving a little money in the short term isn’t worth countless nights of troubled slumber. With this in mind, make sure that any mattress you purchase is perfectly suited to your height, weight and personal comfort preferences. 

Furthermore, any bedding or pillows you invest in should meet similar criteria. Your choice of the latter is far more important than you may think. For instance, if you have problems with back pain, snoring, sleep apnea, acid reflux or post-nasal drip, look into buying a good wedge pillow. Similarly, make sure that your sheets and comforters are well-suited to the climate and season.

Sleep issues have the power to turn your life upside down. In fact, depending on the severity of your sleep problems, you may find yourself struggling to carry out common everyday tasks. So, if your quality of slumber has recently undergone a considerable downgrade, you’d do well to get the problem under control posthaste. To this end, take care to put the measures discussed above to good use.

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