Fort Wellness Counseling

8 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night
(and Improve Your Mental Health)

tips to sleep better at night

Struggling with restless nights and weary mornings? If so, you’re not alone. Almost half of all Americans report daytime sleepiness between 3 and 7 days per week. And 35.2% of adults sleep for less than 7 hours each night. But is there anything we can do to prevent that? Say, some proven tips to sleep better at night?

While most of us aren’t strangers to grogginess or fatigue, restless nights become more frequent as we age (and our sleeping patterns change). Generally, women sleep less around menopause, as hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms begin waking them.

If you’re struggling to fall (& stay!) asleep, our professional therapists are revealing 8 proven tips to help you sleep better at night in today’s blog post. Stay tuned to find some that will work for you.

Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night

While sleep aids can help battle your insomnia, here are some natural, proven tips to sleep better at night:

Exercise

If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, it might have something to do with your level of exercise. Not only will going for a brisk walk trim you down, but it will also boost the effectiveness of your natural sleep hormones (aka melatonin).

However, it’s important to watch the timing of your workouts. Exercising at night can be stimulating (which — as you can imagine — hinders your sleep schedule). Instead, we recommend opting for morning workouts that expose you to bright daylight (this supports your circadian rhythm).

Don’t Live Life in Bed

Another reason people struggle to fall asleep might be because their beds have become stimuli for wakefulness and activity (and consequently not for sleep). How does this happen? Well, it often happens to people who use their beds as offices for answering phone calls and emails. Or, when they get into the habit of watching late-night TV from bed. To associate your bed with sleep, we recommend using it for sleep and sleep alone! (As well as other bedroom-related activities, if you know what we mean.)

Get Comfortable  

There are plenty of distractions that might deter you from a restful night’s sleep. Don’t let ambiance be one of them! To set your night up for success, make sure your bedroom is as quiet as possible. Most people want a dark, hushed, and cool environment; however, do what feels best to you.

Eat (But Not Too Much)

It’s not uncommon for a grumbling stomach to keep someone awake. So, to get enough sleep at night, start by eating enough calories during the day. However, stray away from eating a large meal within two to three hours of bedtime. Your body needs time to digest, and this prevents you from staying up all night with an upset stomach, acid reflux, or indigestion. If you’re really hungry right before bedtime, a small, healthy snack (like a piece of fruit) is best.

Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine

Another tip to help you sleep better at night is to avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant, so consuming it before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns. And while a glass of wine might initially make you sleepy, it also has a stimulating effect. This is because alcohol releases excitatory glutamate as it metabolizes, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter of your nervous system. As you can probably guess, this disrupts your ability to sleep.

Wind Down Before Bed

It’s not uncommon for daytime worries to bubble to the surface at night. And if you didn’t already know, stress is a stimulus. When we’re stressed out, we activate our fight-or-flight hormones. And as you can probably imagine, those hormones work against our ability to sleep.

Therefore, taking some time to wind down before bed can do wonders for your quality of sleep. If you’re unsure where to start, try deep breathing exercises, doing some bedtime yoga, or journaling with these 5 self-care prompts for mental health.

Adopt a Sleep Ritual

Remember being a little kid whose parents read them a bedtime story every night before bed? Most of the time, that comforting ritual lulled us to sleep. And even in adulthood, those bedtime rituals can have a similar effect. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, try drinking some warm tea, taking a bath, or listening to calming music – these all signal our bodies and minds to sleep.

Speak With a Therapist

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a proven way of treating chronic insomnia and other sleep problems. Here at Fort Wellness Counseling, our qualified therapists help people work through their sleep struggles and unearth any issues that might be lying under the surface. Then, we empower them with tangible solutions and techniques to accomplish long-term change.

Sleep Therapist in Fort Worth, Texas

Are you or a loved one struggling to fall (or stay) asleep? We hope that these proven tips to sleep better at night offer a bit of relief. And if you’re still unable to get some shut-eye? Making an appointment with a member of our Fort Wellness team will help. Our cognitive-behavioral therapists have ample experience treating people with chronic insomnia and other sleep troubles. Contact our team to discover what we can do for you.

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