Sleep deprivation can cause you to feel irritated, have a hard time focusing and experience fatigue. Experiencing mood swings is another common symptoms of sleep deprivation. These symptoms can affect your relationships with friends, family and colleagues, make it difficult to work or drive and even cause depression to appear.
The good news is you can start getting better sleep right now. Here are seven methods you can use to sleep better. You will soon start getting better sleep and should eventually manage to get rid of sleep deprivation symptoms.
1. Creating the right environment is very important. You should use your bed and your bedroom only when it is time to get some sleep. If you sit up in bed to play video games, watch TV, do your homework, talk on your phone or browse the Internet, you will associate your bedroom with all these activities instead of sleep. The right environment will help you relax and go to sleep early. Choose some soft lighting, paint your bedroom in a color you find relaxing, add a stereo so you can listen to relaxing music and invest in some comfortable bedding. Reducing the temperature by a few degrees and placing your clock where you cannot see it from your bed should help you sleep. Some studies have shown that looking at your clock and calculating how much time you have left before morning can cause stress.
2. Establish a bedtime routine. Following a routine before going to bed can be difficult if you have a busy schedule due to work, school or parenting. Do your best to follow a routine every night. If you have a hard time going to sleep, do not fall asleep until past midnight or do not have a sleep schedule, decide on a bed time and stick to it. After a while, your internal clock will get used to your sleep schedule and falling asleep will become easier.
3. Avoid eating and drinking before going to bed. Eating before going to bed could cause your stomach to release acids and cause heartburn or indigestion. Eating causes your metabolism to speed up so that food can be digested. This causes your energy levels to go up and can make going to sleep more difficult. Try not to eat anything at least three hours before going to bed. If you want a snack, choose a healthy food with low fat content. A granola bar, toast or a small portion of cereal are good choices. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants that cause your blood pressure and energy levels to increase. Alcohol can help you go to sleep since it has sedative effects but your sleep patterns might become irregular as a result of alcohol consumption.
4. Natural remedies can help you sleep. There are plenty of herbal teas with relaxing effects. For instance, chamomile can slow down your nervous system and help you relax. Talk to your doctor about natural remedies. If you decide to use supplements, read the instructions carefully and respect the recommended doses. Even though natural remedies are a healthy option, some herbs can react with some medication or have negative effects on patients who suffer from liver or Parkinson’s disease. You should also talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing. Drinking a glass of warm milk is an entirely safe natural remedy you can use to go to sleep.
5. Avoid naps unless you really need one. It is perfectly normal to feel like taking a nap as your energy levels decrease between 3 and 5 p.m. Sleep experts recommend a 20 minutes nap. Sleeping longer could make you feel groggy and keep you awake when your bed time comes. If you need to stay up later than usual or if you have a irregular sleep schedule (for instance if you have a newborn to take care of), taking a nap in the afternoon is a good choice. A nap can improve your mood and make you more productive.
6. Keep your stress under control. It is normal to experience stress and anxiety. A stressful event or a demanding job can have a negative impact on your sleep schedule. Try to find the time for some relaxing activities every day. You could for instance meditate, work out or take a hot bath. Take the time to relax before going to bed, for instance by writing about your day in a journal. If you find yourself laying in bed worrying about your job or bills you need to pay while trying to go to sleep, get up and find an activity that will help you relax. It is best to deal with the situation that causes you stress right away before going back to sleep. Take care of the bill you are worried about or make a to-do list for the next day and you will find that going to sleep is much easier.
7. Meet with your doctor for a check-up. If you are unable to sleep, your doctor may be able to help. There are several health conditions that can prevent you from adopting a regular sleep schedule such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Being properly diagnosed is the first step towards fixing your health problem. Sleep disorders can have a negative impact on your health, which is why you should see a doctor as soon as possible if you believe you might have one.