Updated: Aug 19, 2020
Ever just lay there, at 11:00 pm just thinking of the most random things you never thought you would think about?
3 hours have passed, and it’s the 158th time you’re wondering, “ Why the f*@k can’t I go to sleep?”
Sleeping has always been a problem that revolves around most people’s lives. We even consider the people who can sleep peacefully as the “Lucky” ones.
As a teen, this problem has haunted me to the very end. I would go to bed at 10:30 pm, lay there until 2:30 and start thinking of the most random things, pick up my phone, put it down the next hour, and finally be able to sleep. I would wake up at 1 pm, just to look at the wall and sleep for another hour.
Waking up would make me feel like I have 10 bricks inserted in my body. I felt so tired and grumpy.
Even if I slept around 10 hours, it didn’t make me feel good. My body felt extremely lazy.
Benefits of Sleeping
Sleep is extremely important to your life. You can not function properly if you do not get adequate sleep. We need a good nights rest in order for our bodies to perform it’s everyday tasks.
A study was done on the importance of sleep and in the article it mentioned "Newer studies are strengthening known and suspected relationships between inadequate sleep and a wide range of disorders, including hypertension, obesity and type-2 diabetes, impaired immune functioning, cardiovascular disease and arrhythmia, mood disorders, neurodegeneration and dementia, and even loneliness (Susan L. Worley)."
Some of the many benefits of sleep include:
Research has shown that sleeping is linked to reducing the risk of depression
Strengthens your immune system.
Your body produces a growth hormone during sleep, which aids in muscle growth.
Along with nutrition and exercise, sleeping is a critical component of a healthy life. Thus without proper sleep, optimal health is futile.
You shouldn't beat yourself up when it comes to sleeping. Not everyone has knowledge of the proper technique when it comes to having a good night's rest.
Here are some great tips you can use to help you out. I promise these tips will benefit you if you implement them properly.
Fix Your Environment
How is your environment where you sleep? Is it messy? Is it super hot? Is the demon under your bed playing with your foot again? (Just joking)
If your environment always irritates you, sleeping will be a hassle. You need to create an environment that makes you comfortable. Maybe your room is too hot, therefore you should use an AC or a fan. Maybe your mattress is too old and worn out, this is a good indication that you should probably get a new one immediately.
When sleeping, it’s important for your body to stay calm and comfortable. If your environment is irritating you, you have to change it.
No More Late Night Eating
After having your final meal, it is said to have a 3-hour gap between when you eat and sleep. Having a full stomach while sleeping can be detrimental to your health. Some of the negative effects include causing heartburn, insomnia and stomach to reflux into the esophagus. Eating right before sleeping is just an invitation for more pain while sleeping.
It’s also important to take your vitamins (especially Vitamin B6 - which helps increase melatonin levels). Many people have seen improvements in their sleep when taking vitamins. Not only that, but let’s say you have a hard time waking up. It feels like your body is super heavy and tired. This is because you are lacking your vitamins, so it’s important you take some for better sleep.
Create A New Habit For Sleeping
I can not stress enough how important it is to make this into a habit. If you’re someone who tries sleeping early that one day, and then the next day you don't. This is completely useless. Do not have this mentality. It is very important to form a habit to sleep better.
What you should do is try to sleep at the same time and wake up every the same time EVERY SINGLE DAY. The effort will not be a waste, it will help fix your schedule. It can take a while, but what is there to lose. The key is to keep trying, eventually, your body will get used to what time you sleep and wake up.
Ever just have those nights where you think about that one person that finally texted you back, and now you’re super energized or how you're going to six flags the next day and you just can't wait? Well, I’m sorry. As much as having those thoughts make you feel good, it can harm your sleep.
You need to prepare your mind to be calm during the night. No thoughts of things that will make you super energized. Think of the river and how it’s swaying down while making a calm sound. Think of anything that will keep your mind at a calm state.
Something that can help to help you stay calm is clearing your mind. Maybe try meditating before you sleep. You can even write down everything you have in your mind before sleeping.
You Lose One, You Gain One
I know everyone in this world hates losing things they love, even if it’s for a minute. If you’re super serious about your sleep, there is something you may hate, but should give it a try.
Let’s assume you love your phone more than many things in this world. You need it every day because you can text your friends, explore social media, and etc. What you should do is go up to someone you trust (someone in your household), tell them this, “Hey, if I don’t be at my bed at, trying to sleep at 10:30 pm tonight, you can lock up my phone for the rest of the day”.
Creating this scenario that will hurt you if you lose can definitely motivate you to sleep earlier. You don’t want to lose anything that’s personal to you, so you’re gonna do anything you can to keep it or get it back.
I know this sounds horrible, but hey, it is sacrifices like these that make the most difference. This will increase your chances of trying to sleep properly. Notice how I said in the quote that you will try to sleep and not actually sleep. That’s because you won’t immediately fall asleep, you need to try baby steps in order to fix any bad habit.
Remove All Distractions ASAP
If you are a teenager then you have definitely experienced this situation. If not then God has blessed you with a strange power that makes you better than us all.
You’re laying down in bed watching that new episode of your TV show. You look at the time, it’s 10:30 pm (time for sleep). Even though it is time to stop, the anime is just so good so you say the most famous quote of all time that makes us all liars, “Just one more episode”. BOOM! It’s 5 am and you have one hour left before you have to get ready for school.
It is so crucial to get these distractions away from you when sleeping. Your phone, computer, whatever it is that is keeping you up at night. These things will never let you sleep, they love it when you use them. You will not get your sleep with these around, so here is what you can do:
Keep the distractions out of your room.
Turn off the distractions.
Find any type of way that makes it hard as hell to access.
Let’s say my phone is my main distraction during the night. What I would do is turn it off completely and put it in my drawer.
If you are dependent on your phone waking you up. What you can do is keep your phone on, but far away from you, or buy a damn alarm.
Bed = Sleep.
It feels so nice when laying down in bed while watching that movie. However, this is also harming your sleep.
Your body is supposed to be conditioned for your bed to only be used for sleep. As soon as you hit the bed, your body is immediately supposed to know that it’s time to sleep. If you have multiple purposes for your bed, then your body will not know if you need to sleep.
So condition your bed only for sleep, that’s it. When you associate your bed for a different task other than sleeping it can cause chronic insomnia which can be disastrous for your sleep schedule. Some solutions that you can do is to do your homework somewhere else, watch your movie on the couch. Just do not use your bed for anything else other than sleep.
If you seriously need your bed for some type of work, then my suggestion is to not lay down on the bed (sit up) and face the other way of how you sleep.
Some Products That Can Help
Everyone loves this, the secret product that will change your problem in just one day.
There is no product that could do that instantly obviously, however, there are some things that will help.
Pills for Sleeping:
There are certain pills that can help increase your melatonin levels. Natrol and Luna are both melatonin pills that have been proven to help you fall asleep faster, longer, and wake up refreshed in the morning. These pills contain melatonin which is released into your body, spiking your melatonin production, signaling your body that it is time to sleep.
A Program For The Kids:
Not only do kids need better sleep, but they can also disrupt a parent's sleep schedule. Lucky for you we know a program that specializes in helping your child's sleep schedule.
Think of it like killing two birds with one stone. By investing in your child's sleep schedule you are also indirectly helping yours by minimizing distractions and other nuisances that disturb your sleep schedule. I have a little brother who makes me want to rip my ears out during the night.
All parents have faced this, and thankfully there is a solution to this problem. Sleep Sense has this great trusted program that goes into detail on how to improve your child's sleep. This is great for kids, because they obviously need a proper sleep schedule and you need it too.
My Story On How I Fixed My Sleep:
I struggled to sleep a lot. When I was a kid, I always slept around 3 am. I even faced the same situation recently, but I found a way to bounce back from sleeping at 10:30 pm to wake up at 6 am, to keep it short, here’s what I did:
Put the effort in trying to sleep at those times, even if I couldn’t sleep at 10:30, I still tried waking up at 6 am.
Eat lighter meals and increase my gap from when I eat and sleep
Keep my mind calm as I can.
Keep my phone far away from me.
This took some time, but eventually, I was able to fix my bad habit.
It will take a while, but do not give up on the battle on fixing your sleep schedule. It is crucial to get proper sleep, it is the key for your body to deliver its best performance everyday.
Don’t get frustrated, you won’t always get a perfect sleep. There will be days where you will have trouble sleeping properly, but that is ok. The key is consistency. Don’t try too hard, just follow the necessary tips for help. If nothing works, the best thing to do is to ask your doctor about your problem.
Remember to not oversleep, it does not help your body and it makes you feel even more tired. If you’re young, getting around 8-9 hours of sleep if enough. If you’re a bit older (over 25), you can get away with 6-7 hours.