- If you struggle to fall asleep at night, there are some things you can do to regulate your sleep in a healthy way.
- Good sleep hygiene starts with implementing behaviours that promote sleep and stopping those that do the opposite.
- Things like having a nighttime routine, keeping technology out of the bedroom and keeping your room dark could all promote sleep.
- There are also things you can do during the day, like avoiding or limiting caffeine intake, which could help you sleep better at night.
How long does it normally take you to fall asleep?
According to Harvard Medical School's division of sleep medicine, healthy sleepers typically take 15 minutes to fall asleep. However, for some people, falling asleep can be a struggle.
Do you have good sleep hygiene? Harvard shares tips on how to get better sleep on their site. It all starts with behaviours that promote sleep and stopping behaviours that do the opposite. These behaviours are referred to as your "sleep hygiene".
Here are a few tips to regulate your sleep in a healthy way:
Get back up
If it takes more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, get back up and go into another dimly lit space and do something calming until you feel sleepy.
Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps to set your body's natural clock (circadian rhythm) by making sure you don't oversleep.
Listen to your body
Go to bed when you are sleepy, not just tired, the Harvard article recommends. "Going to bed before you are sleepy, or before your body is ready to sleep, will frustrate you. If you feel sleepy, but your brain is busy thinking, it can't shut off and go to sleep."
Keep the bed a sacred space
Don't watch TV or use electronics in bed. Train your brain to associate your bedroom with sleep.
Create a nighttime routine
Brush your teeth, take a bath and put on some soothing music before you go to bed.
Build a nest
Keep your room dark and at a cool temperature.
Things you can do during the day for better sleep at night:
Avoid or limit your caffeine intake.
Avoid or limit alcohol intake.
Have a routine or regular schedule for your meals, workouts and other daily activities. This will help with your circadian rhythm.
Seek help for medical problems which may interfere with sleep, like chronic pain, depression or anxiety.
If you are a smoker, try to cut down or get help to quit.