Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Many people get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to fatigue, irritability and other negative symptoms, but it can be difficult to know how to fix your sleep issues. Here are five tips for feeling less tired.
1. Test Alternative Sleeping Positions
The position in which you sleep may not be something you consider often, but it can affect the quality of your sleep more than you might think. Sleeping on your back can relieve pain in the knees and hips while sleeping on your side can help reduce heartburn and snoring.
The fetal position can help ease lower back pain, particularly for those who are pregnant. If you have a condition like sciatica that causes pain when lying down which can contribute to difficulty falling and staying asleep, you may want to try some sciatica sleep positions.
2. Cut Out Alcohol And Caffeine
Though caffeine is perceived to energize and alcohol to make you feel sleepy, they can both be detrimental to high-quality sleep. Caffeine provides a high initial spike in energy levels, but you can crash quickly. You don't need to cut it out entirely but limit your caffeine consumption and avoid consuming it after dinner, to avoid the caffeine keeping you awake.
By contrast, alcohol may help you fall asleep, but also reduces the quality of your sleep. You don't sleep as deeply or as restfully when you consume alcohol, so it's best to drink in moderation.
3. Seek Healthy Stress Relief
There are many ways you can reduce your stress healthily. You can speak with a therapist, begin yoga or start practicing mindfulness in the form of meditation and tai chi. You can also spend time before bed doing quiet, relaxing activities you enjoy, such as journaling, listening to music or reading a book.
You should also learn how to evaluate your mental health so you can determine how much stress relief you need on any given day. Consider whether you're feeling depressed or anxious and if you need to talk to a therapist more often, give yourself a mental health day or do a little extra stress relief, such as giving yourself a spa day.
4. Exercise More And Earlier In The Day
Exercise is well-known to tire people out, but other benefits of it, such as the boosting of the metabolism and the release of endorphins, can also contribute to more restful sleep. If you do moderate exercise regularly, typically for at least two hours weekly, you're likely to see an improvement in your sleep quality.
A good way to improve your sleep each night is to break up the recommended two hours into smaller increments, such as 30 minutes, and exercise every day. However, keep in mind that you should avoid exercising too late in the day. This can cause the opposite effect, energizing your body and getting your blood pumping, interfering with your ability to relax and fall asleep.
5. Avoid Screen Time Before Bed
One of the simplest ways you can improve your quality of sleep and feel less tired is to turn off the screens before bed. The recommended time to avoid screens is about an hour before you plan to go to sleep. The blue light from screens may affect your circadian rhythm and contribute to difficulties falling asleep.
You may find this difficult because so many aspects of entertainment involve screens and portable screens are so easy to take to bed. Try to substitute screen-related activities, such as posting on social media and watching television, with alternatives such as reading, taking a bath or playing with pets.
If you try all these methods and see little to no improvement, it may be time to discuss your difficulty sleeping with your doctor. He or she can recommend more targeted treatments for insomnia or check for other conditions that may be affecting your energy levels.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.