**Guest Post by my friend Alycia Coloma**
Getting good sleep is harder to achieve than most people think. If you find yourself experiencing problems like snoring, back pain, or insomnia, then your sleeping habits might need some work. Read on to find solutions for your bad sleeping habits.
1. Buy a good pillow and mattress
A good mattress and pillow can have a significant impact on the quality of sleep you get at night. If you’re tossing and turning, it might be time for an upgrade. When on the lookout for a new mattress, there are several factors to look out for, such as how firm or soft you want it and the kind of support you want.
There are various mattresses to choose from, and it can get a little overwhelming knowing what to pick. Memory foam is generally firmer, while an innerspring mattress has a wide range of support. There has been a lot of innovation regarding the construction of mattresses, so you should try out as many as possible.
A good pillow can greatly improve your neck or back pain that you experience when you wake up in the morning.
2. Change your sleep position
When it’s time for bed, doctors recommend that you sleep on your side. While sleeping on your stomach is comfortable, it can cause restlessness as well as neck and lower back pain. Sleeping directly on your back can lead to an increase in snoring at night and physical discomfort. Sleeping on your side is generally the best, but it can cause some problems as well. If it is causing hip pain, try placing a pillow between your legs when you sleep to help with your spinal alignment.
3. Prepare your bedroom
Making sure that you have a tidy bedroom before bed can help relax your mind, leading to lower levels of stress and healthier sleep. Prepare your room with items like blackout curtains, sleeping masks, and a white-noise sound machine.
4. Create a bedtime routine
Having a good bedtime routine will improve the quality of sleep you get at night. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Doing this will regulate your sleep cycles and make them more consistent. Other tasks to consider before bedtime include a nightly shower, 10 minute mindfulness meditations, reading time, and drinking a glass of water.
5. Take some sleep medication
If some of these more natural methods aren’t working, some sleep aid might be necessary. Items that have been proven to help with sleep are melatonin, valerian root, chamomile tea, and the scent of lavender. All of these will help regulate your sleep cycle and lower stress
6. Exercise every day
Exercise is another way to help you sleep at night. A light walk or run and even some yoga are enough to help you achieve a good night’s rest. Daily exercise also regulates your mood and is a stress reducer, which is both important for getting and staying asleep.
7. Avoid electronics
If you tend to take your phone or tablet with you to bed, you may be unknowingly lowering your sleep quality every night. The blue light produced by electronics throws off your circadian rhythms, making it hard to fall asleep. Try turning them off before bedtime or installing a blue light app that will change the type of light emitted from your electronics.
8. Stay away from Caffeine and Alcohol before bed
Adjust your diet by avoiding anything with caffeine and alcohol before going to bed. It’s recommended not to drink these beverages 4 hours before bedtime. Caffeine will make it harder to go to sleep and will make you more restless at night, and alcohol reduces the quality of sleep you get.
By taking these tips into consideration, you can make sure that the next sleep you get is of good quality. Bad sleep will be a thing of the past!
Alycia is blessed with four beautiful girls and enjoys DIY crafting with them in her free time. After receiving a Master’s in education from the University of Colorado, Alycia pursued a career as an educational consultant in order to help students and their parents plan for a better future. She’s a staunch advocate of continuing education, and believes that an insatiable hunger for knowledge is the key to better finances, a warm family, and an overall fulfilling life. Alycia finds it important to write about what she’s learned and express her opinions before a larger audience online. She leads by example, and teaches her readers that despite juggling four kids and a full time job as a single mom, it is possible to go back to school and achieve success. She enjoys finding new ways to work around tight budgets and offering tips for how to readjust and settle in a new situation—whether it’s collegiate life or a recent divorcée status. Her platform shares her wealth of information with the hope of empowering parents and students everywhere.