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An Insomniac’s Guide to Great Sleep

We know that insomnia is complicated and doesn’t have an easy fix. The mental illnesses that keep people up at night are varied, and everyone has a different relationship with sleep. However, there are some fundamental things you can do to prepare your body up for a more regular, consistent sleep schedule.

Keep a Routine

Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so plan accordingly. Depending upon how long it usually takes you to fall asleep, adjust your bedtime to fit your routine.

No More Naps

If you’re having nighttime sleep issues, try to cut out napping during the day. Even short powernaps can affect your sleep at night, especially if they’re taken in the afternoon.

Exercise

As we know, exercise is great for mental health and wonderful for sleep. However, try to get your workout in at least 2-3 hours before bed. Exercise can really energize your body and mind, so working out too close to bedtime can make sleeping more difficult.

Cozy Up Your Room

It’s easy to forget that your room should be the coziest spot in your home. Take a look at a main character’s bedroom on any sitcom–it’s always awesome. While we don’t have set designers to craft our picture-perfect space, we can make our bedrooms more welcoming if we try.

Invest in your sleep. A good mattress, soft sheets, and breathable blankets make all the difference. If you have anxiety, a weighted blanket might be good for you, too.

Cleanse Your System

A pre-bedtime snack is great if you’re hungry, but try to avoid foods that will make you feel full and bloated. Your stomach’s digestive activity will keep you awake. Further, ingesting anything toxic like alcohol or cigarettes will not set your brain up for a restful night of sleep.

Be Patient

Finally, give these adjustments a little time to take effect. Your body will likely adapt to your new sleep schedule in 2-3 weeks. And remember–putting in work during the day by speaking with a mental health professional and practicing self-care will profoundly impact your sleep.

Catie Housman

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