Rewiring Your Brain: 7 Ways to Get a Better Sleep at Night –
Getting a long and restful sleep is like a dream come true. But in reality, many are ignoring a healthy bedtime routine causing them to sleep late or sleep for shorter periods. The way you think about sleep is often the cause of these problems.
Your quality of sleep can be affected by how you think about it and how you prioritize it. If you think sleep is just a part of your daily routine and not on top of your priority list, you will have a hard time falling asleep. A healthier mindset when you go to bed would be to allow your body to relax and your mind to let go of everything you have done during the day so you can slowly but surely doze off.
If you are looking to improve your sleep and improve your bedtime routine, consider changing your mindset about sleeping. Here are tips to help you rewire your brain.
Change Your Attitude About Sleep
Improving the way you see sleep can help you sleep better. How you think about sleep can have a huge impact on how well you sleep. Your mindset can either help you sleep or can cause you to stay awake.
Learning how to see sleep will help remind you of the importance of getting adequate healthy, quality sleep in your life. Treating sleep as a priority will help heal and restore your body.
Begin by forming healthy beliefs about sleep, such as:
- Falling asleep is easy.
- Sleeping is something I enjoy because it rejuvenates my body.
- Sleeping makes me feel energized.
- I can relax whenever I sleep.
Whether you are improving your performance at work or in school, losing weight, or trying to look better or healthier, quality sleep is an important matter. Viewing sleep as a goal can help improve your sleep habits. To help establish these thoughts, say them out loud and think about them before you hit the bed. Think about how relaxing and peaceful your bed is and why sleeping can be a pleasant thing.
Think Sleepy Thoughts
Your thoughts influence the way you feel and the way you sleep. Sleep and stress don’t mix. If you think about stressful things, your heart will start to beat faster which will prevent you from sleeping.
Before you prepare to sleep, imagine yourself feeling tired and sleepy. Think about a time when you could not keep your eyes open, and you just wanted to take the day off. Changing your thoughts about sleep may sound simple, but it takes some practice to make it work well for you.
Your body physically reacts to what your thoughts are. If you have happy, confident, and sleepy thoughts, your body will react accordingly.
Plan for a Better Sleep
Having an evening pre-bed ritual can help you go to sleep faster. Practicing a relaxing bedtime routine right before you go to bed can prepare you mentally and physically.
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep and wake cycle is one of the most important strategies for getting better sleep. Take a warm bath or shower before you go to bed to help you relax. Dim the lights and drop the thermostat to cool your bedroom in the hours leading up to your bedtime. Stop using your smartphone or laptop and listen to something relaxing, such as nature sounds, white noise, or binaural beats.
Having a regular sleep and wake schedule will help you feel more refreshed and energized. It helps set your body’s internal clock to optimize the quality of sleep.
Planning a nighttime routine with consistent timing will allow you to have better rest because it helps your body and mind to start winding down.
Set Your Goals
Setting small goals for small changes can often lead to long-term results. Set attainable goals to help you get more sleep. You can start sleeping 30 minutes earlier during the night or you can also wake up 30 minutes earlier in the morning. You can also compete against yourself and beat your best record.
However, if you are having trouble getting or staying asleep, reverse this advice and go to bed 30 minutes or an hour later. this may sound irrational but such advice is designed to increase your sleep drive and help you to sleep more effectively.
Keep your goal in mind as you begin to rewire your brain and improve your sleep habits. If you feel there are a lot of things to do and you cannot make time to sleep, remind yourself again of your goals. Setting your goals can help improve your sleep and bedtime routine.
Keep a Sleep Journal
If you suspect that you have sleep problems, tracking your sleep and wake hours can help you recognize that problem. Sometimes, having sleep problems is not a result of a sleep disorder but because of your sleep habits. Drinking alcohol and caffeine before going to sleep or having poor sleep hygiene can keep you from sleeping well and on time.
You may use a simple sleep diary or use a sleep journal app to help monitor not only your sleep and wake times but also the activities you did during the day. You may start to notice some negative patterns and habits by just looking at your sleep journal.
You may recognize that every time you drink alcohol, you go to bed earlier, but you wake up more frequently during the night. You may also notice that every time you exercise during the day, you have longer, quality sleep.
Keeping track of everything using a sleep journal helps you see which areas you should improve and which routines affect your sleep. Tracking your sleep habits can also motivate and encourage you in following the correct sleep routine.
It is important to reward yourself whenever you make progress toward reaching your goals. To keep your mental and physical health in order, you should reward yourself. Rewards can keep you motivated. A case study conducted by Tippet and Kluvers showed that rewards are motivators for employees. With a reward for reaching your goals, you feel more motivated to reach them.
Plan a healthy reward once you reach your sleep goals. This motivator can be a movie or spa treat, or you can also take a day off at the end of the week and go on a short trip to a beach.
Having a motivator will help you achieve your goal. Since we are mentally wired to enjoy and aim for rewards, rewarding ourselves at the end of the day can keep us motivated.
The most important factor in rewiring your brain is to stay consistent. The regularity of your sleep routine and habits is what will help your biological clock function to stay at its peak.
Once you plan your sleep schedule, pick the times that you can stick to not only during the weekdays but even during the weekends. If your body gets accustomed to your new sleep and wake-up times, it will help you fall asleep better at night and wake up easier and with more energy in the morning.
Understanding how your brain works when it comes to sleep can result in healthier, longer, and more quality sleep. Anytime you are experiencing problems with asleep, visualize yourself accomplishing your sleep goals. If your sleep disorder still affects you even after following these steps, consider having yourself checked by a medical professional like a dentist specializing in sleep problems to assess the problem further.