How to sleep better
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I frequently have trouble sleeping. In this article I will give you tips on what has worked for me to get improve my sleeping patterns.
Why I make an effort to sleep better
I like working and I tend to be more unfocused when I don't sleep. I also see it as a basic health issue.
I think that it makes driving my electric wheelchair more difficult when I'm tired. I find not sleeping particularly problematic when I go to concerts or have an appointment/meeting.
It isn't just one issue
I have two main problems; I can't turn off my mind and I also get spasms in my back.
There's an additional problem in the summer of my room being too light in the morning which is a problem since I sometimes take until 3AM to get to sleep. The light wakes me at 5AM and I can't get back to sleep.
When I visited China the outside noise was unbearable but basic ear plugs helped. If the area that you live in noisy you may also want to consider double glazing.
Solutions for switching off your mind
I am on the computer for 13 hours and sometimes I just can't switch off my mind at night. I used to sleep only for 2-4 hours at the height of my insomnia and sometimes I got no sleep at all.
I found that listening to music and not looking at a computer screen for at least an hour before bed helps reduce this type of insomnia. I would also advise avoiding listening to faster music two hours before bed. Faster music in my collection usually equates to punk rock or trance.
When I use my eye tracking on my portable computer which is closer to me I have to increase the time to 2 hours or more.
One of my friends suggested I dim the screen at night using software called Flux however I can't stay that it helps.
Also there's a saying "don't go to bed angry" and I think that this is a valid point. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping when I read comments on Facebook that I find ill informed, but maybe it's more the typing of the response to the person late at night that causes the problem.
Sleeping pills could help however they could be addictive, have side effects and be hard to cease taking them. I would personally avoid taking them. At best most pills of this type are meant to be a short term solution.
I also can't say that I had great success with them, although perhaps it's because I didn't relax my mind before taking them.
Sometimes when I can't switch off I try to just listen to the ticking of the clock or the air conditioning unit. I don't know if this would work if sudden noises are common where you live.
A thing that is really helping me is resisting the urge to think as soon as I get into bed. I have been getting better sleeps since I started doing it.
I think that it's best to train your brain not to naturally think or focus while you're bed. I wouldn't recommend reading while in bed but if you must read before sleeping you may want to do it in a chair.
My final suggestion for this section is you may want to just switch your phone off one hour before bed until you get up as the screen can affect you similarly to using a computer. I think that if you're constantly checking your notifications until you go to bed your brain has a higher chance of staying active.
Good temperature for sleeping
Recently I have learned that the ideal sleeping temperature is around 60-72"F. I have also noticed that I have worse sleeps when I take a hot shower just prior to bed. You might want to consider taking a cool (not freezing cold) shower before bed.
Being warm in the day and cooler at night will help your body's production of the sleep hormone called Melatonin.
If you want easy control over the temperature at your place you may want to get the Ecobee smart thermostat at Amazon
Spasms are another major problem for me; both in the back and hips. Since I have started stretching it reduces this problem. I occasionally have to figure out new ways to stretch as the issue comes and goes.
I also take Magnesium and cross my legs during meal times just to put them in a different position.
I did consider getting Botox treatment but I think I will stick with the stretching for now.
The Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand is recommending weighted blankets to help solve the problem. If stretching doesn't work you may want to try getting one.
Weighted blankets are now used to help with spasms and anxiety. They are blankets with objects inside of them this makes you less likely to move.
You can get a weighted blanket at Amazon. You need to ensure that you select the correct size and weight since it first displays the blanket for a child. They recommend getting a blanket weighing 10-12% of your body weight.
You can read the testimonials of people with anxiety that had a better sleep from this weighted blanket. One person that claims it helped with sleeping had Sensory Processing Disorder.
If you are ordering specifically for spasms and it doesn't work they have a refund policy. From my understanding it doesn't work well for back spasms but I'm going from one review.
My concern with them is I think that they would be warmer than other blankets and I don't like being warm in bed.
I have additional problems in the summer time due to light
As stated in the first section of the article I frequently have trouble sleeping in the summer due to the light in the morning. It starts to get light at 4AM and very frequently I woke up between 6AM and struggled to get back to sleep. Many people dislike winter which is when I am writing this however I love the dark mornings.
I plan to get blackout curtains/blinds by the summer as they do help.
If you think that you would benefit from them you can get Arlo backout blinds at Amazon.
Thanks for reading
I hope that I helped you. Don't forget to share this article on social media if you think that others may find it helpful.
If you're still having trouble sleeping you may want to see your G.P.