How To Get The Best Sleep Ever
Written exclusively for hushandhush.com
By Jerica Hope
A lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired and affect your ability to perform at a high level during the day –– whether at work, with family obligations, or even at hobbies. According to the CDC, a lack of sleep is also associated with problems like depression, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Sadly, most of us don’t get enough high-quality sleep, either because we have too much on our minds, we suffer from physical discomfort or chronic pain, or simply because we’ve had too much coffee a lot of the time. But there are a number of things you can try to overcome this issue.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation 1
Many guides to relaxation include, in one form or another, a process by which you gradually relax all your muscles. This usually involves reminding yourself of specific muscle groups that tend to be tense, like those around your jaw, neck, and shoulders, and making a conscious effort to relax them. There are also specific stretching activities designed to provide a similar result. Whichever technique you choose though, relieving bodily tension in a comprehensive manner can leave you primed for good sleep.
ASMR Videos 2
A few years ago, strange videos started to appear online. They involved people waving their hands at the screen, lighting candles next to ear-shaped microphones, people role-playing as hairdressers, and all sorts of other bizarre concepts. But we all eventually learned that this type of content is intended to trigger ASMR (“autonomous sensory meridian response”), which as Vox explained is designed to help you relax. Some respond more to these videos than others, but in the best of cases, they really are remarkably calming.
Sleep Podcasts 3
While many have come to associate certain listening podcast feeds and other listening materials with general calmness and meditation, a SymptomFind article late last year connected podcasts to good sleep as well. These shows provide different types of content, from extremely simple stories narrated by people with especially soothing voices, to guided sleep meditation sessions. It may take some time to find the right content for you, but for many, a given podcast or “sleep story” from a meditation app can work wonders.
Regular Exercise 4
One of the common reasons for poor sleep quality is anxiety. While there are several methods for treating this, SymptomFind notes that regular exercise can go a long way in improving anxiety and sleep quality. Research has found that moderate to vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality and lessen the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as other general wellness benefits. So if you want to fall asleep faster, you should actually try to get moving.
White or Brown Noise 5
If you spend a lot of time working on a computer, you may be used to playing specific types of music to help you focus. These are usually simple melodies without lyrics that prevent you from getting distracted by the sound of other people talking, or a TV show playing somewhere else. White noise playlists and videos work in a similar way. They play sounds of nature like birds, waves, or rain, in order to prevent your brain from being overly stimulated by the different sounds that occur during the night. In a sense, they lull you to sleep by occupying your mind with one steady, uninterrupted sound.
Leaving Your Smartphone Out of the Bedroom 6
While many of our recommendations have revolved around the use of tech, some also adopt the theory that the bedroom should be a place used solely for sleeping. It should not be filled with TVs, games, and the like –– and likewise, you should consider avoiding your smartphone while you’re in bed or trying to sleep. A study published in Nature and Science of Sleep shows that checking your phone in these circumstances is associated with poor sleep quality. Accordingly, making sure to put your phone aside well before you go to bed is a good idea.