Stop Tossing and Turning with These Helpful Tips
It’s the middle of the night. Pitch black, everyone is asleep. Everyone… except you. Trying to get comfortable and fall back asleep while watching the hours tick by on the clock is a frustrating experience, especially when you’re exhausted and just want to get some rest.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to cut down the frequent tossing and turning for a better night’s sleep.
What’s causing your tossing and turning?
Before we dive into how to stop, let’s look at why you may be tossing and turning to begin with.
Anxiety and Stress
Studies have shown that both anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on your sleep quality. An anxious and racing mind will have you feeling restless. A stressed mind can have you tense up. Not exactly the relaxed state you want to be in for a deep sleep.
Many studies have shown found the blue light emitted from our phones, TVs, and other devices are problematic for sleep. This blue light can delay the melatonin in your body, the hormone that regulates our sleep. In addition, the noise and bright lights can keep your brain stimulated and awake.
Poor Sleep Routine
Sleeping in too late or taking a long afternoon nap can backfire at bedtime, leaving you wide awake when you should be tired. Similarly, if you’re too tired, you may be surprised to learn it might be hard to fall asleep.
How to Stop Tossing and Turning
Here are some things you can do to help get a good night’s rest:
Check the Thermostat
Studies have shown that sleeping in a colder room can help you get better sleep. Set your room’s thermostat to about 65 degrees and see if the cooler environment eases your restlessness.
Get out of Bed
This might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re tossing and turning in bed, get out. Trying to force yourself to fall asleep could lead to negative associations with your bed. Go in a different room and do something calming like reading a book. When you’re truly sleepy, hop back in bed and see if that does the trick.
Work out Earlier
Exercise can help relieve stress and lower your body temperature. Both are important for helping you fall asleep. Just be sure to finish your workout at least four hours before bed. If you exercise too close to bedtime, your body temperature will be too high, making it harder to fall asleep.
Put Your Phone Down
Stop using your phone and other electronic devices about an hour before you go to sleep. This includes watching television. Instead, pick up a book. Keep your phone out of reach to make sure you don’t instinctively grab it. This will let you disconnect (literally) and allow your mind to shut down for bedtime
Certain relaxation techniques can help decrease the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. Deep breathing and meditation exercises calm your mind and body and help you ease into a restful sleep. So, take a deep breath and put your worries about tossing and turning behind you.
Protect Your Health
Did you know that mattresses are a perfect breeding ground for various bacteria and dust mites? Our mattresses absorb sweat, oils, and skin cells that our bodies shed every night. These allergens in your mattress make for a restless night of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and sore throat. If you’re wheezing and sneezing every night, you might have dust mites or other allergens in your mattress.
Look into getting a mattress and pillow protector for your bed. They provide an ultra-thin physical barrier that you can wash. Not only will a help keep you healthier, it will also prolong the life of your mattress.
Invest in Your Comfort
Your mattress obviously plays a big role in your sleep quality. If you keep waking up stiff and sore, your mattress might be the reason you’re not getting restful sleep. Have you ever slept in a bed that has a dent in the middle? That’s a clear sign that the mattress should have been replaced long ago. A saggy mattress or one that has simply lost its shape doesn’t provide you with the support you need throughout the night. When your muscles must work harder at staying in a comfortable or neutral position, you end up tossing and turning.
Your mattress should not only be comfortable, but also compatible with your sleep position. Mattresses are not one-size-fits-all. Some people need more support, while others choose plush comfort. The size of your frame dictates the size of your mattress. A petite person would not necessarily need a California King, while someone with a larger frame would not find a Twin mattress too comfortable. Decide what’s right for you, your bedroom space, and your sleep partner. Test out mattresses in the store; it’s recommended that you lay on a mattress in your normal sleeping position for at least 15 minutes to determine if it’s truly comfortable.