Sleep is incredibly important to human beings. Lack of sleep can not only make us awful cranky, but it can also have a serious impact on our health. Unfortunately, there are a ton of us out there who get less shut-eye than our bodies need — 35.2 percent of American adults, to be exact. These are our handy tips to getting a better night’s sleep for people who’ve tried everything!
1. Early sunlight helps us sleep at night
This first tip is incredibly simple, as it only relies on us listening to our biology. Our bodies love being in line with the daily cycle of day and night; it’s known as our circadian rhythm. So, getting some sunlight as early as possible not only helps us feel more awake in the mornings, but it also helps us sleep at night.
Getting those early morning rays will help to kickstart our natural cycle and wake our bodies up. Then, when nighttime rolls around, it will help us feel tired again. Perfect!
2. Why not stand on your head?
This one is going to sound a little out of left field, but stick with us and it’ll all make sense in the end. If you have trouble getting to sleep, doing a headstand could be the answer. A 2004 study from Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback found that this can actually aid our sleep struggles.
Apparently, being upside down focuses blood flow to your brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland — and these are directly tied to sleep regulation. It couldn’t hurt to try, could it? Although maybe grab a few cushions to soften your landing if it’s your first time trying...
3. If you want to fall asleep, think hard about staying awake!
Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a Duke University sleep expert, told The Healthy that thinking about staying awake can actually help you get to sleep! If that sounds nuts to you, then join the club! But hear Dr. Kansagra out; he knows his stuff.
“It sounds counterintuitive, but… this often lessens anxiety and gives your mind a chance to relax enough to fall asleep,” Dr. Kansagra expalined. “It’s a technique known as paradoxical intent — a cognitive behavioral therapy technique used to lessen the anxiety around falling asleep.”
4. Mattress pads work miracles
We generally spend six to eight hours every single night in our beds, so it’s no secret that having a comfortable mattress is key to good sleep. What’s often overlooked, though, is the importance of mattress pads or toppers.
Obviously, these foam layers provide extra cushioning for your body, helping to eliminate those aches and pains. But mattress pads can help our sleep habits in other ways, too, like regulating body temperature, improving breathability, and reducing allergens. Plus, they help your mattress last longer!