Are you having trouble sleeping?  Don’t worry. You are not the only person who may need help sleeping.  A growing number of people now report suffering from insomnia and other sleep related issues.

Here are five ways to help you sleep better.

Having trouble sleeping? Switch off your mobile phone

Having trouble sleeping? Switch off your mobile phone

If you are having trouble sleeping one of the best ways to help you sleep better is to switch off your phone at night!!

Smartphones, tablets and other electronic gadgets are now a huge part of our lives.  Keeping your phone on during the night can affect your sleep in more ways than you realize.

Just because you’re not using your cell phone doesn’t mean that it isn’t disturbing your sleep.

Evidence suggests that the blue light, emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices has an effect on the quantity and quality of the sleep we are getting.

Also the constant pinging of texts, emails, notifications or other reminders means just having a mobile within reach can seriously affect your sleep.

Having trouble sleeping? Keep to regular sleeping patterns

Having trouble sleeping? Keep to regular sleeping patterns

Have you noticed that you tend to feel energized and drowsy around the same times every day?  This is due to your circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm is also known as your sleep/wake cycle.  Basically it’s a 24-hour internal clock running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals.

For most adults, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night (when you’re usually fast asleep) and just after lunchtime (when you may want a post-lunch nap). The times can vary depending on if you’re naturally a morning or a night person.

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep patterns.  You may not feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re sleeping well. However, you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness when you’re sleep-deprived.

Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The bottom line is a regular sleeping routine can help you stop having trouble sleeping.

Having trouble sleeping? Be mindful of what you eat

Having trouble sleeping? Be mindful of what you eat

If you are having trouble sleeping look at your diet.

Your diet and what you eat can be very important in how well you sleep.  What you eat in the daytime, especially in the hours before bedtime, determine how well you sleep at night.

Eat your main meal early in the evening.  Try to avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Spicy or acidic foods can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.

Cut out coffee before bedtime.  Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to twelve hours after drinking it!

Although alcohol makes you relax, you should avoid alcohol before bed.

Drinking lots of fluids before bed may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night.

Eating lots of sugar and refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can trigger wakefulness at night

Having trouble sleeping? Exercise can help

Having trouble sleeping? Exercise

When you are having trouble sleeping, exercise can help to more sound and restful sleep.

Exercise and sleep seem to have a relatively uncomplicated relationship. You work out, tire your body and mind, causing you to sleep more soundly at night.

A regular exercise routine can help to reduce your stress levels.  Stress is a common cause of sleep problems, including trouble falling asleep and sleeping restlessly during the night.

Physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase. Deep sleep helps to boost immune function, support cardiac health, and control stress and anxiety. Studies say exercise is especially good for people with insomnia.

One of the best (and most enjoyable) forms of exercise is sex.  And guess what?  Sex helps you sleep. More sleep boosts your sex drive. Win, win.

Sex makes it easier to fall asleep because it boosts Oxycontin and lowers Cortisol (a stress-related hormone).

Having an orgasm releases a hormone called prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. All of which leads to a pleasant, drowsy state that’s perfect for falling asleep.

For women, sex boosts oestrogen levels.  This enhances the REM stage, giving you deeper sleep.

Moringa is said to aid sexual stimulation in women and enhance sexual performance in men.

Having trouble sleeping? De-stress and relax

having trouble sleeping? De-stress

The stress, worry, anxiety and anger you experience during the day can make it very difficult to sleep well.

A great way to unwind, calm the mind and prepare for sleep is by practicing relaxation techniques before bed.  Rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, why not try mindfulness meditation?

Creating a bedtime routine that puts you in a good frame of mind before you sleep is one of the best ways to help you sleep.

Take a warm bath, listen to soft mellow music, read a book or magazine, listen to an audio book and wind down.

Try ending the night by listening to motivational or inspirational material with positive messages.

Having trouble sleeping? Further reading

The subject of sleep is a hugely important topic that has been extensively studied.  But we still have so much to learn.  You can read more information on how to fall asleep and learn how much sleep we need by age.

If you’ve found something that has helped you sleep better or have any helpful tips, please let us know in the comments below.