Simple Tips to Help You Sleep Better Without Medication
A lot of people struggle with insomnia or another form of sleep disorder—about one-third of U.S. adults, in fact. While this means you’re not alone if you have difficulty sleeping, it doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
Living on inadequate sleep can have both short-term and long-term effects on your physical, mental and emotional health. Problems such as chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, reduced concentration and depression symptoms have been linked to sleep deprivation. It can even weaken the immune system and may lead to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The good news is that you can take steps to improve your sleep without using prescription medication. If you need better sleep to boost your overall health and well-being, try these simple tips:
Look for a mattress tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons why people struggle to get quality sleep is that their mattress is either outdated or the wrong kind. If you’re waking up with pain and aches, toss and turn frequently, or your mattress is dented, it could be time to shop for a new one.
Be sure to research and read online reviews before you purchase a mattress. Your specific body type and sleeping style significantly influence what kind of mattress will work best for you. One example of this is the brand Tuft & Needle, which makes mattresses designed for petite and medium-sized individuals; however, they’re not ideal for people 250 pounds and over. Tuft & Needle mattresses are also known to work well for all sleep styles—including back, stomach, side and combo sleepers. These are the kinds of factors you want to consider as you’re looking for a new mattress.
Get your vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential for your overall health and well-being, and it can even promote sleep. Be sure to get exposure to natural sunlight throughout the day. Make a habit of drawing the curtains or blinds, and spend time outdoors each day. Light therapy lamps are helpful when sunlight is limited. Getting vitamin D will help to regulate your circadian rhythm.
Exercise most days of the week.
Physical activity also brings major health benefits, and exercising at the right times of day can aid your sleep routine. It’s best to exercise in the morning or afternoon because it will give you energy for the day and help you feel tired come nighttime. Avoid physical activity in the evening, as it can make it difficult to fall asleep. 30 minutes a day, five times a week is a solid goal. However, relaxing activities at night, such as yoga and meditation, can aid sleep.
Stick with a routine.
Another way to improve your sleep is to establish a sleep and wake time for each day. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get out of bed at the same time each morning. Keep this routine on weekends as well, and you will notice your body clock becoming consistent after a little while, which will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Furthermore, come up with a bedtime routine that helps you fall asleep. Rather than watching TV or using a computer or smartphone in your bedroom, consider reading a book in the living room. Other things that can help include taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music, doing breathing exercises or journaling.
If you have trouble sleeping, it’s important to confront it head-on. Shop around to find a mattress that fits your needs. Be sure to get plenty of sunlight and exercise, and find a sleep routine that works for you and stick to it. Little changes like these can go a long way in helping you sleep better—without the need for medication.
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