Alaska Sleep Education Center

Sleep Better At Night Without a Prescription

Posted by Lewis Robinson on Sep 15, 2021 4:11:00 AM

Sleepless woman lying in bed looking at the hours pass by

Do you have trouble sleeping? There can be many factors that prevent you from getting a good night's rest. For those with long-term sleep issues, prescription drugs may be recommended. However, these can be costly and have some unappealing side effects. Fortunately, there are some simple and inexpensive measures you can take to correct the problem and start to sleep peacefully through the night. 

Try Some Herbs

Natural alternatives to prescription medications can be a great sleep aid. Herbs for sleep are gentle on your body and most people are able to use them safely. When used as directed they shouldn't cause any side effects, so you can take them with the confidence that you won't be faced with yet more symptoms or morning grogginess. Some of the best herbs to help relax you and promote a good night's sleep are lavender and camomile. Both make excellent teas. Brew a cup, add some honey for sweetness if you prefer, and let yourself begin to relax as you sip the warm beverage. 

Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sanctuary

A cluttered or uncomfortable bedroom wreaks havoc on your sleep. Keep your room clean and put things away so there is no mess to distract and distress you. Since you spend a significant amount of time asleep, you want your bed and bedroom to be cozy and a peaceful haven you can't wait to enter. Use soothing decorative elements and choose a mattress, sheets, and pillows that offer the level of support and comfort that you crave. 

 Set the scene for sleep and you will more easily obtain it. Hang curtains or blinds over your windows to block out light from outside. Avoid watching television or doing any kind of work in your bedroom. Allow it to be a place to wind down after a long day and don't bring any additional stress into the room with you.

Listen to White Noise

Many people are light sleepers and jar awake at the slightest noise. If this sounds like you, try some soft music or a white noise machine. Choose something that can fade into the background and you won't pay close attention to. White noise should cover up any distracting sounds and lull you to sleep. It shouldn't capture your interest and invite you to focus upon it. 

Establish a Bedtime Routine

Getting into a regular routine can work wonders to help your body prepare for sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. After a while, your body will begin to anticipate sleep at this hour. 

Keeping to a schedule isn't the only part of a good nighttime routine. You should also do something to help yourself slip into a calm state of mind. Avoid doing anything mentally stimulating too close to bedtime. Instead, read for pleasure or take a long bath. Add some aromatherapy oils or bath salts to the water to please your senses and ease the worries of the day away. 

Ditch the Electronics

Your laptop and cell phone are distracting and shouldn't be kept in the bedroom if you can avoid doing so. The lights and noisy alerts can keep you distracted, and prevent you from ever sinking into a deep and restful sleep. Electronics also provides a lot of temptation. Keeping your phone on the nightstand makes it all too easy to check on any new texts and emails, or scroll through social media. This may seem like a harmless action, but it's actually destroying your sleep.

First of all, it can eat away precious time when you should be sleeping. It's easy to get caught up in something and not realize just how long you have spent reading about unimportant topics. Second, the content that you see could stimulate your brain by bringing up intense emotions, preventing you from getting into a calm and relaxing state. Social media is filled with polarizing opinions and posts that are meant to shock and awe. When they do exactly that, you become caught up in your emotions instead of letting your body prepare for the next day. 

Exercise

Everyone needs to fit some activity into each day. Especially when you consider that daily exercise has a powerful impact on your ability to sleep soundly. Exercise is a great way to expend excess energy and can help you to heal from certain physical ailments that may be contributing to your sleep problems.

Try to avoid engaging in intense aerobic activity directly before bed. This can raise your endorphins and get your heart pumping; the exact opposite effect of what you want to feel to settle into bed in the evening. Once you establish a regular exercise routine, you could start to notice a significant improvement in just a few weeks. Not only will you be able to fall asleep faster, but your sleep quality and ability to sleep through the night will both get much better. 

Clear Your Mind

It's no secret that life is stressful. You constantly have to juggle a multitude of responsibilities from family, to work, and more. It can be easy to slip into the habit of lying in bed, wide awake, as your thoughts race. You may find yourself agonizing over a perceived mistake that you made earlier in the day, or worrying over the next day's tasks. If stress and cycling thoughts keep you awake at night, it's time to do something to reduce your stress levels and turn off your brain so you can rest. You may want to try deep breathing exercises or some yoga to wind down.

Other fantastic methods include meditation or journaling. Writing down your thoughts may help you to clear them from the forefront of your mind. Try to take a few moments to jot down your concerns. Include your achievements and make a list of a few things you are grateful for. This small step puts you in a good mood to allow you to fall asleep with a positive mindset. 

Conclusion

Whether you have trouble falling asleep or find yourself waking throughout the night, these tips can help you to establish some useful habits and give you the tools you need to get some quality rest. A full night of sleep will leave you relaxed, recharged, and ready for the day ahead. 

If your sleep problems are a consistent part of your life, you may need to have a sleep study done.  Talk to your Primary Care Physician or call the Alaska Sleep Clinic @ 907-420-0540 .

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Topics: CPAP, sleep hygiene

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