How to catch more sleep is unique for each person depending on their work cycle, but here are a few suggestions to help you.
What are your sleeping conditions? Are you in a quiet end of the house or in a nosy environment? If you grew up in a house with lots of noise and found that comforting, a quiet place may not work. A friend of mine sleeps with the radio on in the house. If you had a house of quiet, trying to find a place of rest that is peaceful, cool, and comfortable is essential. Scientific research tells us that going to bed at a regular time helps us stay regulated. However, having said that it is often difficult to be consistent. This is particularly true if you have small children, work varying shifts, or are a caretaker.
Often the use of noise machines work well. I spent a night with a few friends up in the Milwaukee area years ago. We were all going to a conference the next day and bunked over at one of the nearby homes as guests of one who was also attending with us. To my surprise she announced that the only way she could sleep was with white noise, so we all agreed to try it. Surprisingly fast, I fell asleep and slept well for the entire night. There are many machines that offer a variety of sounds from the sound of ocean waves, to repeated sounds.
What we are learning is that it is essential we get up at the same time. Years ago I had a doctor who was practical and yet a genius. He sat down with me on the first visit in a quiet room and asked me a series of questions. One of them was what time I woke each day to use the restroom. I gave him a time and still find after all these years that it hasn’t changed. So why share this with you? Well it is obvious that we all seem to have an internal clock that keeps us on tract. Obviously after many years of schedule changes, having raised a family, and jobs, I realized that some things are consistent. This is really relevant when it comes to our times of rest.
Yesterday I was not watching the clock, but Rosy, our American Bulldog, barked to alert me to her eating time. She has not been well this past month, and has not eaten well, but her habits are set in place. Ironically, I fed her and she ate okay. She also can be sound asleep and awakes at 8:30 pm to remind us it is time to go outside. People are no different with their internal clocks, but we often delay going to the washroom or ignore being tired. We stay up past our bedtimes and regret it the next morning.
The use of weighed blankets can also really be helpful. I was first taught about this through one of my patients. These blankets calm the body and allow the person to settle down. So I personally tried one to learn if it worked. They are excellent at keeping one from tossing and turning. It reminded me of the bundling we do in helping newborns to sleep. We swaddle them to make them feel secure. They come in a variety of weights according to whether one is a child or an adult. The first time I used one it slid onto the floor and unlike other blankets meant I had to get out of bed to physically pick it up again. I found it rather funny, but missed it right away. These blankets come in a variety of colors and duvets are available to cover them as well.
Another remedy is having something about an hour and a half before bedtime to relax you. For years a glass full of milk was suggested and it has helped many people I know to feel satiated and to sleep well. My husband likes an apple and has copied this habit from his father. Perhaps it is keeping the body from feeling hungry at that time, equalizing blood sugar, or just a powerful suggestion! It may be something to try and see if it helps you.
Hoping a few of these ideas might guide you into a restful night and consistent habits to make your life better. Take the first step, it may put you on the escalator of success.