Having trouble sleeping? Top 10 things to help you sleep

Having trouble sleeping? We all experience the occasional bout of insomnia, whether or not we have any experience with sleep apnea. With that in mind, we offer this list of 10 things to help you sleep.

1. Get into a routine.

We make sure our kids establish a bedtime routine, but how often do we stick to our own routine? If you’re having trouble sleeping, this is a good place to start. Find a routine that works for you — whether it’s taking a warm bath at night, or making a list of tomorrow’s tasks so you don’t spend time worrying about them while you’re trying to sleep — and stick to it consistently. (From the UK’s Express.)

2. Invest in a good mattress.

One of the most important things to help you sleep is finding the right mattress. Many people prefer not to invest much money in a mattress, despite the obvious benefits to sleep health. “If you need a car and a mattress, go down a couple of grand on the car and spend it on your mattress,” recommends sleep consultant Nancy Rothstein. (From the Fiscal Times.)

3. Stay cool!

A cool, quiet bedroom can be the answer if you’re having trouble sleeping. “Try a sleeping mask or heavy curtains to shut out light. Use earplugs, a fan, or a sound machine to block noise.” (From ConsumerReports.org.)

4. Watch your diet.

What you eat throughout the day affects your ability to sleep at night. “Include protein with your breakfast, as the amino acids help make the hormones that will send you to sleep later,” advises Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan. (From the UK’s Express.)

5. Achieve “screen freedom.”

Turn off, or at least learn to ignore, your smartphone an hour or so before you go to bed. “Ask yourself, is it really important to check your emails at 10 p.m.?” says Dr Ramlakhan. “Our phones are amazing devices but we need to create healthy boundaries.” (From the UK’s Express.)

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6. Cut out the napping.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it could be because you’re sleeping too much during the day. “A 30-minute snooze before 3 p.m. can be refreshing, but naps later in the day have been shown to hinder sleep at night,” advises one expert. (From ConsumerReports.org.)

7. Stop worrying!

A stress-free perspective may not always be easy to achieve, but it still ranks high on the list of things to help you sleep. “Anxiety is the enemy of good sleep,” says one expert. “Worrying that you’re not getting enough will actually stop you sleeping and create a vicious circle that’s hard to break.” (From the UK’s Express.)

8. Don’t toss and turn.

Some experts say to avoid lying in bed if you can’t sleep. “Get out of bed and go and do something boring and meaningless,” advises Dr. Jason Ellis, a professor of sleep science in Newcastle, UK. “Once you start to get really tired, go back to bed.” (From The Daily Mail.)

9. Fight snoring.

If you snore, consider using remedies to stop – which could help you sleep more soundly. “Try rubbing a few drops of eucalyptus or olbas oil onto your pillowcase,” advises the UK’s National Health Service. “If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray.”

10. Find an online support group – like this blog.

“If snoring is disrupting your life to that level, joining an online support group for people with sleep apnea or sleep disturbances may be helpful,” writes Dr. Mohammad Azizur Rahman. “This will not only allow you to relate to those with similar difficulties but will give you a way to find out what has worked for other people in your situation.” (From The Daily Star.)