Most people know that getting a good night’s sleep is key to feeling refreshed and recharged the next day, but what are some other ways to get better sleep?

What causes us to have trouble falling asleep?

Neurostructural dysfunction can affect your recovery response (also known as the parasympathetic nervous system) and your brain’s ability to “turn off.” That dysfunction can further manifest as secondary conditions such as insomnia, difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, restless legs syndrome, or waking up exhausted from lack of restful sleep.

To help you get started on the road to better slumber, here are five helpful tips:

1. Get early morning sunlight

One way to help get better sleep is to get early morning sunlight. Exposure to light helps regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm, so getting some natural light in the morning can help you feel more alert during the day and sleepy at night.

2. Avoid blue light before bed

Another thing that can interfere with our sleep-wake rhythm is exposure to blue light. Blue light is emitted from screens like phones, laptops, and TVs, and exposure to it before bed can suppress melatonin production and make it harder to fall asleep. To avoid blue light exposure before bed, try avoiding screens altogether in the hours leading up to bedtime.

3. Establish a regular sleep schedule

A regular sleep schedule is another key factor in getting better sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, so your body gets used to a routine.

4. Keep a journal

If you have trouble falling asleep, keeping a journal before bed can help clear your mind and relax you enough to fall asleep. Writing down your thoughts or worries can help you release them and drift off to sleep easier.

5. Take a warm shower

A warm shower can help relax your muscles and prepare you for bed. The steam from the shower can also help clear your sinuses and loosen any congestion, which can make it harder to fall asleep.

6. Use deep breathing techniques

Finally, practicing relaxation techniques before bed can also help promote better sleep. Techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help calm your mind and body down so you can drift off more easily. A popular breathing method to calm and relax your body is the 4-7-8 technique. Try this method in 4 simple steps:

  1. First, let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth.
  2. Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
  3. Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath.
  4. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.

If you’re still struggling to fall asleep quickly, give Dr. Tara Rasta a call to schedule a wellness appointment. She can help you figure out what’s causing your sleep troubles and recommend some strategies to get better slumber. Thanks for reading!