You wake up and rollover. The clock says 2:47 a.m. You are exhausted and don't have to be awake for at least three more hours. It's another sleepless night of tossing and turning. If that scenario sounds familiar and you wish it could end, try using the following five natural sleep boosters you can implement during the day.
Drink Water Throughout the Day
There is a pretty good chance that you already know that water is integral to your overall health. However, many people fail to realize that not drinking enough water can lead to sleep disturbances. Dehydration affects most major body systems and can lead to symptoms like dry mouth, headaches, and muscle cramps. These can make it very difficult to fall asleep and stay that way.
On the other hand, drinking too much, especially late in the day, can lead to frequent urination and interrupted sleep. Ideally, you'll find a balance that allows you to stay hydrated without being overhydrated. Urine that is clear or pale yellow is a good indication that you are drinking the right amount of water.
Develop a Regular Exercise Routine
Even if exercise is the last thing you want to do when you're barely dragging yourself through the afternoon, it's still a good idea to make time for a quick workout. For most people, exercise seems worse when you think of doing it compared to when you are actually doing it. Plus, it has been proven to help increase energy levels and regulate sleep patterns.
If you still need a little extra motivation, do some research into the best pre-workout ingredients to maximize your efforts. The right blend can support performance and help you reach new fitness goals, which will make you want to come back for more.
Learn How To Manage Stress
If you spend countless hours thinking about everything you didn't get finished today or the things where you cut corners to get done, there's a good chance it will cut into your sleep. Perceived shortcomings aren't the only things that can stress you out and disrupt sleep. Upcoming bills, trouble at work, a fight with a friend or loved one and countless other everyday situations are also stressful.
Unfortunately, you cannot escape this aspect of life. What you can do is learn how to manage the stress you experience so that it doesn't take over your thoughts and actions. As a huge bonus, when you manage stress, you will be more relaxed and better able to get a good night's sleep.
Eat a Balanced Diet
What and when you eat directly affects your sleep. Spicy foods are an excellent example. They may be delicious, but they can aggravate heartburn or acid reflux, making it uncomfortable — or even painful — to lay down afterward.
Spicy foods aren't the only thing you should limit later in the day. It's also a good idea to avoid caffeinated beverages from mid-afternoon. They can make it difficult to fall asleep in the evening, leaving you feeling drained the following morning. Plus, while a glass or two of wine before bed may help you feel relaxed, it is likely to result in you sleeping lighter and waking up throughout the night.
Talk To Your Doctor
Finally, if you still have trouble sleeping, there could be another underlying cause. Some chronic illnesses disrupt sleep patterns, as do conditions like sleep apnea and injuries that cause persistent pain. Talk to your doctor if you suspect any of these are behind your sleep difficulties.
You don't have to toss and turn all night. Developing an exercise routine, staying hydrated, watching what you eat in the afternoon and evening and managing stress are all effective natural ways to boost sleep.
If you're having symptoms of a sleep disorder, and you already have a primary care physician, it is often best to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options with them first. Your family doctor should be one of your most trusted allies when it comes to your health, and any questions or concerns you have about sleep should be discussed during your visits.
If you have an appointment coming up with your doctor and you want to voice any sleep concerns, you can go to the appointment prepared. Do so by keeping a sleep journal. In your journal make daily entries that include what time you went to bed, how long and well you slept, if you woke during the night and for how long, if you were stressed that day, what foods you ate, and whether you consumed any alcohol or caffeine that day and at what time. These simple entries will help you better explain your symptoms and have a little evidence to show for it.
You can also discuss with your doctor any sleep hygiene practices that you have already tried. This will make the likelihood of being referred to a sleep clinic more likely if you have already taken steps to get better sleep, but have been unsuccessful.
In most cases, your doctor will refer you to a reputable sleep clinic in your area. Your health is your doctor's primary concern, and you can usually feel assured that they'll send you to the best sleep clinic in your area.
If you live in Alaska and are looking for a quality sleep clinic to help you with your sleeping problems, you can schedule a free 10-minute phone call by clicking the link below. If you want to get a feel for the kind of services we provide and check us out in person, call or stop by any of our four labs throughout Alaska.