Even when you’re careful about making healthy choices throughout the day, it’s all too common for many of us to struggle with getting a good night’s rest. This can happen to anyone. Athletes in particular tend to have a higher rate of inflammation which can impact sleep quality. However, if you’re also living with a mental health condition like anxiety, depression, or ADHD, the likelihood that you suffer from insomnia is even greater.
Unfortunately, lack of sleep can make your mental health even worse, leading to a negative pattern that’s hard to break out of. For athletes, lack of sleep will affect and hinder improvements in performance. If you find yourself in this pattern, try these suggestions that get to the root of the most common sleep troubles.
One of the first things to consider is how much you’re affected by your environment. Issues like discomfort and distractions greatly contribute to your sleep quality.
Are you comfortable?
Maximizing your sleeping space for comfort is a basic but easily overlooked solution for resting better. Even simple steps like getting comfy bedding, plenty of pillows, and soft sheets can help. Another basic requirement for quality sleep is having a good quality mattress. Many people continue sleeping on the wrong mattress because they just don’t know where to look or what they need. My recommendation is to start by researching mattresses online, and take a look at memory foam and foam hybrids. One reason I suggest zeroing in on this type of mattress is that it comes in various forms like all-foam, hybrid, and flippable, all of which provide proper support for your body. You can find memory foam that suits any level of firmness you need and in a wide price range.
Do you associate your bed with sleep?
Along with the obvious importance of comfort, there’s the less obvious issue of sleep associations. PsychCentral explains why using your bed only for sleep is so critical, especially when you’re dealing with anxiety or depression. Have you ever lain in bed during the day during a depressive episode? Or stayed awake at night with anxious thoughts? As a result your mind comes to associate being in bed with restlessness or anxiety – not relaxation and sleep.
Are outside factors waking you up?
Some people are able to fall asleep fine, but then you wake up in the middle of the night and racing thoughts keep you from going back to sleep. One way to address this problem is to deal with outside disturbances beforehand. To prevent sounds from waking you up, S+ recommends minimizing noises by using a white noise machine and shutting off electronic devices.
Your Daytime Routine
Everyone needs comfort and a lack of disturbances to sleep well. Just don’t forget that your habits make a huge difference, too. This often starts with what you do during the day, thanks in large part to your circadian rhythm that naturally regulates your sleep cycle. To keep that rhythm balanced, one thing you can do is get exposure to sunlight. Some people even have diurnal mood variation or morning depression. While there are many different factors that contribute to this mood variation, sun exposure and light therapy can you help fight this feeling and sleep better at night.
Your Nighttime Routine
We know that light, activity, and certain foods can help you have more energy during the day. So it’s no surprise that what you do at night can have the same impact on your energy level. This is why a good nighttime routine is in many ways the opposite of what you’re doing during the day: lower lights (and be especially aware of exposure to blue light), relax your body and mind, and avoid food and drinks that are stimulants.
Many people like to unwind at night with a cup of hot cocoa or chocolate milk before bed! In fact , Cocoa Elite even makes an overnight recovery product specifically formulated for overnight use, Sleepy Time Recovery.
Many of us are so used to our regular routines that we don’t even think about how these things can help – or hurt – when it comes to sleep. Yet all of these little issues combine to make a huge impact, even when you aren’t aware of it.
Thankfully, you can change these habits. It may not happen in one night, but with consistency, you should start getting the rest you need.
Brad Krause created selfcaring.info to educate others. He provides knowledge on the importance of caring for oneself by implementing self-care practices and sharing a variety of great resources as his readers continue with their journey to improve their overall well-being.
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