Sleep Help: What Can I Do To Sleep Better At Night?

Updated July 07, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers

Sleeping is an essential part of life. When you aren’t getting the proper amount of healthy sleep at night, it can start to affect your health almost immediately. It is a good idea to take steps to make sure that you can sleep like you should, for several reasons. This article will discuss these reasons and offer options on how to get the sleep that you need.

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Addressing Sleeping Problems

When you are having issues getting healthy sleep, you should consider your habits first. There may be things that you are doing that are affecting you being able to sleep, or you might be in pain when you lay down at night. These are a bit obvious to pinpoint.

Other reasons for your sleeping difficulty may not be as obvious. If this is the case, it may take more time for you to figure out what is going on in your body. Perhaps you are worrying too much, or you are not giving yourself enough time to relax before sleep.

It is a good idea to see if you can notice patterns, which can give you a clue to what is going on. When possible, write down the times and dates when you can’t sleep, and maybe they can explain why you can’t fall asleep. Perhaps it is after a certain time of the month (e.g., when you’re visiting family), or when your allergies are acting up. There may be a wide range of explanations.

How common are sleeping problems?

Sleeping problems are very common. Anyone can have problems sleeping from time to time, for a variety of reasons. You may be anxious or excited about an upcoming event and be unable to calm down. It doesn’t even have to be a bad thing when you can’t sleep. This is why you shouldn’t worry about not being able to sleep unless it is something that happens to you quite frequently. This is when it may need to be checked out.

Is it a sign of something more serious?

When you are unable to get healthy sleep, the first possible culprit you’ll want to rule out is sleep disorders. This is one of the main reasons why it is important to get the sleep you need. Your body needs sleep to be able to do all of the things it does that you probably take for granted.

Some sleep disorders can be quite serious, can be chronic, and are likely to change the way you live your life. When you notice that your sleep patterns aren’t what they should be, do everything you can to change that. These disorders are quite prevalent and can develop at pretty much any time in your life. There over more than 70 types of them, all of which have different symptoms and severities.

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Sleep Disorders

There are multiple disorders pertaining to sleep that you may be suffering from, but the most common is insomnia. Insomnia occurs when a person isn’t able to fall asleep, cannot stay asleep, or is restless while they are sleeping. It is a condition on its own, but it can also lead to depression when it isn’t handled or treated properly.

Another common one is sleep apnea, which is a condition that causes you to stop breathing while you are asleep. This can be rather dangerous and should be discussed with a doctor. If you have certain medical conditions, you may have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. These conditions include diabetes, glaucoma, or certain psychological disorders.

Home Coping Techniques

There are many things you can do to try to improve the way that you sleep. The tips below might be beneficial for your sleeping overall; browse the list, and choose a few to try.

Don’t Take Naps

It is best if you refrain from taking naps during the day. This can lead to you being up all night because you have already gotten the rest you need. Napping throughout the day will likely throw off your sleep cycle, which is something you should avoid.

Stick to a Schedule

A sleep schedule can be important to your success when you want to get the proper amount of sleep at night. It is advisable to adhere to the sleep-wake cycle, which provides for 16 hours of being awake during the day and 8 hours of sleep at night. If you can stick to this schedule, it will be easier to figure out when your sleeping starts to become abnormal. This can allow you to change or alter things quickly and get back to normal.

Exercise

Getting exercise can help you become exhausted at the right times of the day. At the same time, you don’t want to exercise right before bed. It is recommended to exercise when you wake up or around lunchtime, so you have the rest of the day to relax and unwind without having to worry about squeezing in your workout routine late at night or last minute.

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Count Sheep

Even though it sounds like a cliché, some people find it handy to count sheep when they are trying to go to sleep. You can also count numbers or think of memory games to do, which can relax your mind and lull you to sleep.

Limit Distractions at Night

You have probably heard that you shouldn’t have electronic devices in the room when you’re trying to sleep. The same is true for ambient light. It is fine to read a bit before bed, but if you do, be sure that you have a small lamp to read by. You don’t want to be around bright lights when you are trying to signal your brain that it’s time to relax and fall asleep.

Make Sure You’re Comfortable

It is no fun to have to toss and turn all night when you are trying to sleep. Make sure that you are comfortable in your bed before you attempt to rest. This means having the right amount of blankets, pillows, and that the air in the room is the proper temperature. It shouldn’t be too hot, too cold, or too humid.

Relax Before Bed

If you need to relax before bed, don’t reach for a glass of wine. Alcohol is unlikely to be able to help you sleep. Instead, take a hot bath or shower to wind down. You may also want to lay in a dark room for a few minutes before you intend to go to sleep so that you can get accustomed to peace. Some people also opt to use essential oils for aromatherapy purposes. These won’t work for everyone, but they may help you relax a bit.

Treatment

You only need to seek treatment if your sleep issues get out of hand or are happening more often than you feel comfortable with. At this time, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about sleeping aids, and they will probably also want to rule out physical problems or conditions.

If you think that your thoughts, worries, or anxiety are keeping you awake, you may want to discuss that with a therapist. They will be able to help you address your fears, how you are thinking, and develop the most effective treatment plan to get you back to sleeping each night deeply.

If you want to seek a therapist’s help from your home, you may want to consider online counseling platforms such as BetterHelp. BetterHelp counselors can help you with your sleep issues, and they can connect with you through text, call, or video chat. If you prefer traditional, face-to-face counseling, please make sure that your local counselor has experience in treating sleep issues.

Prognosis

It is normal to have issues when it comes to sleeping. It can happen to anyone and can leave you wondering what is going on. While it is very important to get healthy sleep, if that doesn’t happen every single night, this is okay. There are many things you can do, which can help you stick to a pattern that will allow you to fall asleep easier.

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If you think you have symptoms in addition to not being able to sleep, this is when you need to seek out help. There are times you may be suffering from sleep apnea, insomnia, or another disorder that is causing you not to be able to fall asleep. When this is the case, it can be more serious, but it is still easily treatable. Don’t get discouraged because there is plenty of help out there. Sleep issues are commonly treated, so it is possible to recover completely.

Getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night is crucial for your health. If you find that you are often struggling to sleep deeply, seek the help you need. There are different techniques and effective treatments available.


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