In theory, sleep should be so simple. You get into your PJs, turn off the lights, lie down, close your eyes and wait until you drift off to sleep. And wait, and wait, and wait. Suddenly, you look at the clock and find out it’s 2am and you’ve been lying awake for hours! So, what’s the solution? Well, there usually isn’t a quick-fix answer for everyone, as we all have different reasons why we simply can’t sleep.
Luckily, there are a number of great sleep hacks that have helped millions of restless sleepers find 40 winks every night. Not every suggestion may work for you, but it’s still a good idea to try different things to find your perfect sleep hack.
1. Empty your thoughts before bed
True, this is easier said than done, but bad thoughts and negative emotions are a common reason why we can’t sleep. Telling yourself to relax isn’t so useful; instead, you need to physically relax first. Meditating for around 10-15 minutes is a good step, but you could also try some yoga or light stretches, which will help clear your mind and achieve a Zen-like state. Apps like Headgum are a fantastic if you want to take the meditation route, and when combined with sleep oils, you’ll likely find that your mind is at peace when you try to drift off at night.
2. Ease off the caffeine
Yes, we know, coffee is a wonderful little beverage during the morning and afternoon. But the later you keep drinking it, the more likely you are to find it harder to sleep at night. It’s said that caffeine can stay in your body for around 14 hours, so if you’re sipping a coffee or tea (or even worse, a Red Bull) around 8:30pm, then don’t be surprised if you find it hard to sleep when you’re going to bed around 11:30pm! If you still like the idea of a hot beverage before bed, then switch to herbal teas, or even hot chocolate if you want a bit more flavor.
3. Sleep on quality mattresses and pillows
Like we’ve mentioned in the past, good positions are vital for being able to sleep pain-free. A lot of these techniques might take several nights to get used to, but they are hugely important if you find that pain in your body is keeping you awake long into the night. If you have literally no idea where to start, then see what kind of products are available when it comes to things like memory foam mattresses, pillows, bed frames, mattress toppers, etc. Trust us, you’re not doing your body or mind any favors by cutting corners on what you sleep on.
4. Exercise hard at some point during the day
Whilst things like meditation and yoga are good ideas just before bed, you might find that your body needs to be completely exhausted before you can drift off to sleep. It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour session at the gym (although that’s great if you can), you can tire your body out by taking part in rec league soccer, tennis, or basketball. Exercise is always so much better when you actually enjoy what you’re doing! A light swim or quick jog are also fantastic options if you want to feel tired before bed.
Getting good sleep never comes easy! You’ve got to try out different things before you find the best way for your own body and mind.