How To Sleep Better

You can sleep better by actively limiting how much electronics you use in your bed before you sleep, eliminate naps, sleep in a comfortable neutral position, invest in a comfortable mattress, use your bed only for sleeping, and maintain a consistent schedule.

The importance sleep has in our well being cannot be overemphasized. It is estimated that, on average, human beings spend at least a third of their lives sleeping. And yet there many people struggle with their sleep.

Image source: Wikipedia

When it comes to sleep, there are all sorts of potential problems. Apart from the most obvious problems with insomnia, at some point or another most people struggle with things like waking up early, snoring, shoulder or back pains, and other sleep-related problem. Of course, some of these problems are more common than others. It is also true that some problems are much easily solved than others.

The good news is that thanks to science all sleep-related trouble can be dealt with effectively. Sometimes the way to deal with those problems is extremely simple, while other problems have more complex solutions and may even involve some trial and error until the person suffering from it stumbles upon the solution that works for him or her. But whatever your sleep-related trouble is, you are likely to find a science-based solution in this article.

Pains And Aches

Have you ever woken up to back, shoulder, or neck pain? Luckily, for most people, these pains are only a temporary health problem. But that doesn’t mean that they are not irritating.

Waking up with a pain in your back, shoulder or neck is normally related to the position in which you slept the night before.

  • What often causes shoulder pain is sleeping on your side. So the best way to avoid it is to lie on your back. But some people do not like sleeping on their back so what they could do is simply switching sides.
  • The important thing is to avoid sleeping on your stomach as this may cause the shoulders to misaligned during the night. Another precaution is to use a thin pillow rather than a thick one. If you are lying on your back, a trick that often works is to place a second bellow on your belly and hug it softly.
  • If you must sleep on the side, then move your legs toward your belly ever so slowly and place a thin pillow between your knees.
  • Avoid putting your hand under your head or the head pillow.
  • Neck pain is also often the result of sleeping on your side. So, you would be best advised to lie on your back. If you are using a thick pillow you should switch to a thinner one as soon as possible. Find one that you like, preferably an orthopedic pillow, which, in any case, should be less thick than 6 inches.

No matter what position you sleep in, a thin pillow will go a long way to help with any potential pains.

Image source: Wikipedia
  • Finally, if you wake up with back pain, you should try to sleep on your back and placing a thin people under your knees next time. If you like some additional support, you may also place a rolled up towel just under your lower back.
  • If you cannot help sleeping on your stomach, then you should place a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. This will prevent your back from moving forward.
  • And if you sleep on your side, adopt the fetal position so as to keep your back slightly arched in a natural way. Also, placing a small pillowing between your knees will help.

Trouble Falling Asleep

Many people have trouble falling asleep even when they are tired. Slight lifestyle changes will help with that.

The first thing to do is make sure that you wind up in the evenings before you go to bed. There are two main ways of doing this: the first is not exercising or doing any physically strenuous activity in the evening. Although exercising will help with your sleep and improve your overall health, you should keep your exercising to morning or afternoon and never do it in the evening.

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Another science-based piece of advice is to avoid any products with caffeine for several hours before your bedtime. It is advised that you don’t drink soda, energy drinks, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate at least 6 hours before your bedtime.

  • If you have trouble falling asleep, you should avoid using cell phones, tablets, or computers in bed. The light they emit will send confusing signals to your brain. Instead, try reading a paper-based book, newspaper or magazine.

Do Wake Up Throughout The Night

Whether they have trouble falling asleep or not, some people have trouble staying asleep all night long.

Very often, the trouble is caused by room temperature. In that case, make sure that your bedroom is kept between 68 oF (20 oC) and 71.6 oF (22 oC) during the night.

Apart from avoiding using bright electronics in bed, you should also reduce or avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed. The reason for this is that alcohol has the effect of disrupting your body’s water balance. This, in turn, will have a negative effect on your sleep cycle.

Having Trouble Waking Up? 

Although many people struggle to wake up, this is a problem that can be easily solved with just a little effort.

The best way to solve this problem is by waking up at the same time every single day (even on weekends). Just set up your alarm at the same time every day and your body will soon adapt to waking up at the desired time.

People who struggle to wake up at the desired time do so because they tend to wake up at widely different times, so their bodies can never adapt to waking up early.

Do You Snore?

My wife says I’m making a noise like a stranded whale. I think I have a major snoring problem. – Rex Hunt

Image source: Wikipedia

Whether you are the one doing the snoring or the person you share a bed with does, this is one of the most common sleep-related problems people have.

Snoring is often the result of your tongue falling backward and thus narrowing the airway. Often, this can be solved by using a thicker pillow or placing an extra one under your head. Do whatever is necessary to keep your head in such a position that your tongue does not fall backward. It is also advisable to sleep on one’s side.

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