If You’re Having Trouble Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep, FitClub has 5 Tips to Try Before You Reach for Medication

There’s nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep and stay asleep.  Even missing just one night’s sleep can derail your productivity and make you feel irritable.  Sleep is tied to every other life activity and plays a role in how you eat, burn calories, and manage stress. Missing sleep regularly is dangerous, too. It contributes to car accidents, negatively impacts your cognitive processes, and increases your risk for cardiovascular diseasegetty_rf_photo_of_man_having_trouble_sleeping

Before you reach for medication, try one of FitClub’s five tips below for faster, sounder, higher quality sleep.

  • Don’t panic. Many people think that it’s important to fall asleep immediately when your head hits the pillow.  When that doesn’t happen, you might panic or start worrying that you won’t be able to get enough hours before the alarm clock rings.  Panicking only keeps you from falling asleep.  It’s normal to spend ten to twenty minutes laying in bed before sleep happens.  Instead, experts suggest that being comfortable with waiting for sleep will promote faster, more peaceful sleep.  Accepting that you’re in a comfortable place and allowing yourself to just relax in the dark, helps alleviate anxiety that contributes to sleeplessness.
  • Meditate yourself to sleep. Often when a person struggles with sleep, it’s because of stress or troublesome thoughts. Instead of giving into those thoughts and allowing the stress to keep you up, begin a meditation practice and learn how to distance yourself from nagging, unproductive thoughts.  FitClub has a meditation class designed to get you started and build your meditation practice.
  • Avoid television and cell phones. Many people sleep with televisions and phones in their bedroom. Neither are conducive to a good night’s sleep and both emit a light that interferes with Circadian rhythms.  If you’ve waited thirty or more minutes and sleep remains elusive, get out of bed and try reading a book you enjoy or a light-hearted magazine article using as little light as you can to read the page.  When you feel tired, go back to bed and sleep will come more naturally.
  • Practice a soothing bedtime routine. Bedtime routines are just as important for adults as they are for children.  A calming sequence of events prepares your mind and body for the idea that it’s time to unwind and go to sleep.  Your personalized bedtime routine can be whatever combination of events help you distance yourself from endless to-do lists and worries, but you should be as consistent as possible.
  • Avoid late night snacking and drinking. Your stomach needs time to digest your food before you try to fall asleep. The same goes for liquids.  Too much in your stomach leaves your body too active in the late night hours.  Finish your dinner early enough that you can fall asleep without your stomach on overdrive.

What works for you when nothing else does?  If you have any tips to fall asleep and stay asleep share them in the comments!

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