Learning how to sleep better can feel like a lost cause. After nights spent tossing and turning, even the idea of having a good night’s sleep can be stressful “ especially if you assume bedtime is just code for lying there watching time pass on the alarm clock. However, there ARE tips and tricks for combatting a few restless nights “ although if you do start to suspect insomnia, you may want to speak to your doctor about what the cause may actually be.
1. Cut back on caffeine
It may seem like the most obvious suggestion, but how to sleep better can rely on cutting back on caffeine intake. Since caffeine’s effects can last for a few hours, your safest bet is to avoid coffee, tea and even chocolate (depending on how bad your nights have been lately) past 6 p.m. Monitor how your sleep improves as you cut back, and determine whether that’s been the cause of your restless nights.
2. Replace aforementioned caffeine with chamomile and/or warm milk
There’s a reason our moms gave us warm milk before bed “ and that’s because it helps makes you sleepy. However, if you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll experience whatever’s the opposite of how to sleep better (to put it lightly), so replace dairy with chamomile or Sleepytime tea. Since chamomile can help you relax, it’ll help put you over the edge for a good night’s rest. Surprisingly, bananas will also help boost your slumber: since they contain magnesium, they’re a recommended food for people who battle insomnia or insomnia-like symptoms.
3. Try melatonin
Usually the last stop before sleeping pills (which should always come prescribed by your physician, and your physician only), melatonin are the very chemical that courts sleep to begin with. Available in the vitamin section of every drug store, they’re usually used to combat jetlag and aren’t recommended for long periods of time. But if you’re coming up on an unusually stressful period (in life “ though not being able to sleep can be symptom of PMS), it might help to pop melatonin to see how it sits. Just don’t overdo it: too much melatonin can effect your stomach, and even leave you dehydrated.
4. Determine what’s stressing you out
Spoiler alert: how to sleep better relates directly to how stressed out you are. Normally, sleep is the first thing to go when you’re anxious or worked up, so figure out what’s making you feel that way, and learn how to cope. If you’re working until bedtime and can’t shut your brain off, learn to stop about an hour before so you can unwind. If your personal life is wreaking havoc, adopt some coping mechanisms to battle those nights of laying awake feeling stressed. You can also always speak with a professional who’ll be able to better assess what’s keeping you up, and how you can make it a thing of the past.