This follows on from part 1 here. Here are a few more ways that you can get yourself to sleep!
Perhaps the most important part of getting good sleep is having the same sleep times each day. This is very hard to stick to but if you are having a lot of trouble sleeping it is worth trying it for at least a few weeks. Most importantly, try to get up at a similar time each day. Weekends make this very difficult for a lot of people as they like to sleep in. If you do enjoy sleeping in try to limit how late you get up as it will have a huge effect on your ability to sleep during the rest of the week.
Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine can linger for a long time in the body. If you have a large coffee at 4pm, by 10pm that night there will still be caffeine active in your system. It will not be much, but it can be enough that it will impact on your ability to get to sleep. If you are struggling to sleep try to avoid coffee after lunch.
Alcohol generally makes us feel drowsier overall but once the alcohol starts to wear off it can actually have a wakening effect. Once sleeping, alcohol also has a very disruptive effect on your sleep quality. If you are drinking try to stop at least an hour before you sleep where possible, I know it is hard but it will also help reduce hangovers to do this.
Night time light
As mentioned inpart 1, sunlight is a very important driver of our sleep habits. Blocking out light at night is just as important as getting sun during the day. Try to cover electronic devices in your room, leave all lights off, cover windows if necessary and don’t use your phone before sleeping. A program called F Lux is very useful in reducing the amount of blue light you receive from your electronic devices at night. It is free and can be found here: https://justgetflux.com/
Associate bed with sleep
A lot of bedrooms have TVs and computers and are used for a variety of purposes. If you have the space, consider placing TVs and computers into other rooms and leave the bedroom as a place just to sleep and 'sleep'. This can help by mentally associating the bedroom with sleep rather than doing work or watching TV.
Chamomile and Valerian
Herbal teas can often work as well as mild sleep aids depending on the person. Chamomile is a common tea that promotes sleep and tastes pretty good too. Valerian can be bought as a dried root that you prepare into a tea. It can also be purchased in capsules as a supplement. Valerian has much anecdotal support for assisting in sleep and some research indicating its benefits. These are both very easy on the body and are worth giving a try.
If all else fails melatonin can be a great band-aid, it is best used for getting your sleeping routine back after it has been disrupted by travel or your lifestyle. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy and it is the same hormone that is disrupted from lights at night. Only use melatonin sparingly and never use it more than a few days in a row.
We all know that sleep is important yet many of us still struggle to get enough. If you have trouble sleeping, try a few of these ideas and see how you go. Everybody is very different when it comes to sleep, if you are still having troubles sleeping after trying everything out it is worth seeing a doctor in case you have an underlying problem causing your lack of sleep.
Thank you for reading, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will get back to you.