Many people who have insomnia simply claim that they “just can’t sleep.” The truth is however, that your habits around bedtime can be a big factor in how easily you fall asleep and stay asleep. Here are some tips for what to do in the hours before bedtime.
1) Physical Activity- The ability to fall asleep and stay asleep depends greatly on physical fatigue. If you are physically inactive all day, your mind will still be tired at night but there is a good chance you body won’t feel the same way. This is one of the reasons exercise during the day is so effective in helping you sleep at night.
2) Wind Down- With a busy schedule many people work right up until they crawl into bed at night. When you do this, your mind doesn’t get a chance to wind down. It is still running, making it difficult for you to clear your mind and drift off to sleep. This is why it is important to take time to wind down before bedtime. Keep the lights low, and do something quiet such as read, take a bath or meditate.
3) Sunbathe- Your body is timed by the circadian clock, which operates on the presence or absence of sunlight. When you first go outside in the morning, it shuts down production of melatonin, a natural hormone that makes you feel sleepy. When you are in the dark at night, this production increases. For this clock to work properly you need to spend at least a little time out in the sun each day.
4) Quiet Your Bedroom- If your mind only associates your bedroom with sleep; it will make it much easier to fall asleep at night. To achieve this, all distractions should be removed from your bedroom. This includes the television, radio and computer. This way, it will be easier to use your bedroom exclusively for sleep and sexual activity. The temperature of your bedroom is important also. Making it a little colder will promote sleep, and also allow you to snuggle up under the covers.
5) Clear Your Mind- In order to fall asleep; it is important that your mind is clear. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Keep a notebook next to your bed so that when a thought pops into your head you can write it down. This way, your mind will be able to relax because you won’t be trying to remember that thought for the morning.