The road to a good night's sleep starts in your home. Proper lighting, comfortable temperatures and a clutter free house can put you at ease. This applies whether you had a tough day at work or spent the day playing with and running after young children.
Fortunately, there are other actions that you can take to improve your sleep. Each step is worth is, especially considering that millions of Americans struggle to get a good night of sleep. The struggle becoming too burdensome, many people turn to prescription sleeping pills. It sounds like a win, but all is not on the upside when it comes to taking sleeping pills.
Negative consequences of relying on external sleep aids
Dependency on sleeping pills is just one of the downsides. It's possible to get addicted to sleeping pills within months. Start depending on sleeping pills, and even after you sleep for seven to eight hours, you might wake feeling groggy.
Your balance may feel off, tempting you not to venture outdoors for a walk or a jog. To ward off the groggy feeling, you may crawl back into bed. Lack of a clear head also makes it dangerous to operate machinery. This includes driving your vehicle.
Over time,relying on sleeping aids could find you withdrawing from social experiences.You could start spending less time with your family. At work, your performance could suffer. The same applies to school.
Alternatives to external sleep aids
Instead of relying on sleeping pills, focus on your house and your habits. To begin, pay attention to how your mattress feels against your body. Replacing your mattress could help you to sleep better, especially if metal springs are poking your back.
A mattress that's too hard or too soggy can also hamper your sleep. Other ways that your mattress could hamper your sleep include agitating your allergies and treating you to smelly odors. Regularly washing your sheets and pillow cases helps keep your bed smelling fresh too.
Following are other things that you could do to get a good night's sleep:
- Turn the heat on when it's cold outside
- Raising the temperature on your air conditioner before you climb into bed
- Drinking your last glass of water at least two hours before you head for bed
- Meditating half an hour before bed
- Soaking in a warm bubble bath
- Journaling about events of the day that caused you to feel stress
- Counting your blessings
- Finishing projects before you go to bed and letting other projects wait until the following day or later in the week (If you set a deadline for when you will complete projects, you can have the confidence that you'll get important work done. This can help you sleep better at night.)
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising during the day
- Getting outdoors in natural sunlight for at least an hour a day
Turning off your television and closing your window treatments are other good alternatives to using external sleep aids. You could also set a time of night that you will regularly head for bed, potentially training your brain to fall asleep at a certain time.