If you've ever found yourself counting sheep into wee hours, then you can take some small comfort from fact that you’re not alone.
Insomnia is plaguing more and more people each year and with stresses of our daily lives, it's no surprise. For more than 75% of Americans polled by National Sleep Foundation, getting a good night's sleep feels more like a distant dream than a reality.
The good news is that enjoying a full and healthy night's sleep is easier than you might think. You can improve quality and duration of your sleep without resorting to sleeping pills or other artificial sleep aids. All you need to start your journey towards better sleep are these five simple steps:
Establish a routine
Creating a consistent bedtime routine is one of most important steps you can take towards getting a good night's sleep. Going to bed at same time each night and getting up at same time each morning is first step towards establishing a consistent sleep pattern.
A successful sleep routine also involves reducing outside stimulants like television, computer work and exercise two to three hours before bed, and refraining from caffeine at least three hours before bedtime.
Create a peaceful sleeping environment
Achieving better sleep depends upon a relaxed, peaceful sleeping environment. For best possible sleep, remove distractions such as televisions, stereos and computers from your bedroom. Keep your bedroom temperature cool. Gentle air circulation through an open window and fresh, clean bed linens also help to promote a good night's sleep.
Thoughts of work, financial problems and family concerns can often prevent a good night's sleep. Try reducing stimulants, using aromatherapy, a warm bath or some deep breathing and relaxation exercises to induce sleep, reduce stress and decrease anxiety that can cause insomnia.
Adjust your diet
Maintaining a balanced diet is also one of keys to enjoying a regular and fulfilling night's sleep. A healthy diet assists bodily functions necessary for sound sleep. If you aren’t following a healthy pattern of eating, you may find that altering balance of your diet will dramatically improve quality and duration of your sleep.