Do you struggle with sleep? Are you tired during the day, as you only slept 4 hours last night?
Sleep deprivation has become an epidemic in our society. It affects everyone from college students to work-from-home executives. But why do we get so little sleep? And how can we fix it?
I’ve studied research by experts who specialize in sleep disorders and insomnia. They’ve shared their secrets for staying asleep throughout the whole night. In this article, I’m going to share their top 10 tips with you.
Some reasons why people may wake up in the middle of the night.
According to Dr Jacob Teitelbaum MD, “Waking up in the middle of the night isn’t uncommon. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, 35.5% of 8,937 participants surveyed reported middle-of-the-night awakenings at least three times per week, while 23% reported waking up at least one time per night.”
Most wake-up calls occur during light sleep, or phase two of sleep, which occurs before the core temp rises, according to sleep expert Michael J.Breus, PhD, who says most people don’t realize they’re awake until their bodies start warming up.
Unlike deep sleeping stages like REM (Rapid Eye Movement) where the brain is harder to awaken, the brain can be easily awoken during lighter stages of sleeping like NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement).
However, why do they happen?
Researchers say there are a few common reasons why you might wake up in the middle of the night.
- Sleep Apnea
- Medication Side Effects
All these factors contribute to waking up in the middle part of the night.
If you wake up at night regularly for more than two months without any obvious cause, it’s important to see a doctor for professional advice and guidance.
Here are 10 tips to help you sleep through the night without waking up.
1. Create a sleep routine
Make sure you create a solid bedtime routine. It is the key to falling asleep at night and waking up feeling refreshed.
Thinking about it, if you eat breakfast at 9 am every day, over the course of several days your body will start producing the hormones associated with feeling hungry around this hour out of habit. And so it goes with sleeping habits. If you go to the bedroom at 9 pm every evening and wake up at 5 am every morning, your body will eventually fall asleep and stay asleep until it’s ready to wake up and begin its daily routine.
2. Eat three hours before bed
Eating three or four hours before going to bed helps ensure that you get enough calories for the night. It also increases levels of melatonin, a hormone produced naturally at night that helps regulate our body clock and promote sleep. It also helps prevent waking up during the night.
Eating too close to bedtime may make you feel sleepy or tired during the day. It also increases the chance of developing an upset stomach or indigestion.
3. Do foot reflexology of your feet before bedtime
Foot reflexology helps relieve stress and relaxes muscles. It also stimulates blood flow to the brain, allowing for better sleep.
4. Avoid sugar and sweets at night
If you’re craving something sweet at night, eat some protein instead.
Teitelbaum says that daily stresses can lead to a rise in blood glucose levels, which makes us feel hungrier and more irritable at night. These spikes in blood sugar levels happen most often before bedtime when our minds are running wild with thoughts about the day’s activities and the day ahead. It’s harder to get into a relaxed state, so we wind up feeling tired and cranky instead.
Mental health is important. Stop the mental chatter.
Stress can interfere with your sleep cycles, so it’s important that you’re always keeping an eye out for signs of stress and taking steps to deal with them. Learn to control the stress chemical cortisol.
Stress relief techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, or supplements like melatonin may be helpful if they don’t cause side effects. However, if these methods aren’t working, consult a doctor or specialist.
6. Do Shanthi meditation before bed
A study conducted by researchers at Harvard University showed that meditation can significantly increase sleep quality.
Shanthi meditation practice has been scientifically proven to help calm your brain before bed.
7. Empty your bladder before going to bed
Your bladder is responsible for your late-night awakening, so you need to make sure you drink enough water before going to sleep and don’t go to sleep until you’ve emptied yourself completely. If you do that, you won’t wake up at 3 am because your bladder needs some time to fill back up again.
8. Switch off your devices 45 minutes before you sleep
Blue light has been shown to suppress melatonin production.
If you’re tempted to look at your device because you are unable to fall asleep, don’t! Blue light emitted from screens suppresses the secretion of melatonin, which makes it harder for your brain to fall asleep. So if you keep your screen away from your bedtime routine, you won’t be able to see it, either. Turn off your device 45 minutes before you go to bed so that you aren’t exposed to its blue light.
9. Set the right ambience for you to sleep better
If you want to get better quality rest, then make sure your bedroom is comfortable. A major part of good sleep hygiene is creating an ambience that’s optimal for sleep.
According to Dr Ungerleider, a board-certiﬁed internist at Crossover Health and host of TED Health, there are three ways to set the right atmosphere.
- Sleep with earplugs
- Blackout curtains
- Make sure your room is 68 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
These things make sure your bed feels comfortable and helps you fall asleep faster.
10. Make sure to reserve your bedroom exclusively for sleeping
Falling asleep when your mind feels the exact polar opposite of sleepy can be a literal nightmare if your tools aren’t working. If your arsenal of sleep tactics isn’t working, Ungerleider suggests you get up from bed.
“Don’t use your bedroom for anything else but sleeping. If you struggle to fall asleep at night or wake up during the night, avoid watching TV or working in your bedroom. Do things that relax you instead. For example, reading a boring novel, listening to relaxing music, drinking caffeine-free chamomile tea, etc. Once you start feeling sleepy, get back into your bedroom and go back to sleep.”
Here are three bonus tips for sleeping better.
11. Use a white noise generator to block out any unwanted sounds
If you’re constantly waking in the middle of the night because of noises like cars driving by, people talking, or your partner snorting, then you probably already realize that these types of noises can be pretty annoying. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid them from disturbing your rest. For example, you could invest in a sound machine so that you don’t hear any of these noises anymore.
White (or pink, brown, or blue) sounds are similar to each other but they’re not identical. They create a masking effect by blocking out some sounds so that others don’t wake you up.
12. Do Kayakalpa yoga on your bed before falling asleep
If you know Kayakalpa Yoga, practice it once as taught in a SKY Yoga centre before going to bed.
It will help you sleep better.
13. Do deep relaxation
Switch on my podcast audio on deep relaxation. You will go into a deep sleep quickly and sleep right through the night without waking up.
In conclusion, we’ve all had nights where we couldn’t sleep because our minds were racing with thoughts of the day ahead. But did you know that there are actually experts who specialize in helping us stay asleep through the night? In fact, these specialists have developed techniques that help you relax and drift off to dreamland without having to worry about waking up early.
Whether you want to avoid snoring, deal with insomnia, or just want to improve your quality of rest, these 10 methods from sleep experts are guaranteed to help you get the deep slumber you deserve.
Do you have any tips to offer to sleep peacefully?
Please share it in the comments below.
Let others benefit from it.
Remember I am here to help you succeed.
Be Blessed by the Divine!
Krish Murali Eswar.