How to Stay Asleep All NightTweet
By: Patrick Stiles
If you wake up in the middle of the night… It can be incredibly frustrating. Nothing is worse than falling asleep like a baby, only to have your good night’s rest snatched away after just a few hours – as you suddenly can’t get back to sleep.
If you’ve been there. You know the pain.
But — It may have more to do with what you do BEFORE bedtime that wakes you up and keeps you awake.
Here is the quick and dirty of…
What TO DO before you go to bed to STAY ASLEEP all night.
This is all about a subject called sleep hygiene. Some of this is obvious, but some is surprising.
And if you do all of it, you’ll be sleeping better all around. Not just for waking up in the middle of the night.
First of all, avoid bright artificial lights (your phone or tablet are the worse since they are typically bright blue light (the worse kind) and you hold them so close to your face).
As I’ve written before (here), this messes up your natural melatonin production. Since artificial light is just that — artificial — it confuses your brain into what time of day it is… And when to be tired.
Next, you should go to bed at the same time every day… Yes, even on the weekend.
Your body recognizes this pattern and will have you feeling nice and drowsy at the right time.
But more than that, regular sleep times aligns your wake/sleep cycle. So not only do you get sleepy at the right time, you also have energy during the day, when you want it.
Cut out caffeine, especially in the evening.
When I quit coffee, I was able to sleep all through the night without waking up, much more easily. The weird thing about me is I have the gene that makes it hard for my body to metabolize caffeine…
… If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you probably have the same one. And quitting caffeine (even dark chocolate in the evening) – can work wonders for your sleep.
But even if your body can process caffeine normally, you still don’t need anything in your system fighting to keep you awake.
And long after you stop feeling the effects of caffeine, it is still in your system… Research typically says at least 8 hours. So to be safe, I recommend stopping caffeine by noon.
This goes for tea in the evening too.
(And I can hear some of you moaning at this… But just listen, if you’re not sleeping well, you need to isolate the variables causing it. And especially the ones that are in your control, like caffeine. If you get your sleep dialed in, then you can experiment with introducing more caffeine to your routine).
Cut down on sugar, which can leave me wired and tired. Avoiding it in the evening is definitely the best thing to do. And really – sugar just isn’t healthy anyway. So there’s a bonus reason for doing this.
The other thing about caffeine and sugar
Cutting these two things out (or at least reducing them) does something else that’s very important… It helps your adrenal glands. These glands are responsible for producing stress (waking) hormones. And when they get burnt out, they either don’t produce enough (when you’re tired during the day).
Or their cycle is out of wake. Making you wide awake when you should be asleep.
Also, don’t drink a lot of liquids or you’ll probably have to go to the bathroom. In fact, try to go to bed with an empty system (don’t drink anything for about 2 hours before bed, unless you really have to).
Make sure your room is cooled or heated to the right level. Whatever is most comfortable for you (I like it somewhat warm, but most people don’t).
Keep items like your computer, TV, etc. out of your room. Even the tiny lights from these devices can disrupt your sleep. Have it totally dark.
If you sleep – even for a little while – when it is light outside, either have total blackout blinds (that block outside light), or wear a sleep mask to block out the light.
I never used to wear one, but started to when I moved to a place with a lot of natural light. And now, I can’t go without it.
Sleep masks and dark rooms actually help trick your mind into thinking it is still dark – and keep you in deeper sleep via melatonin production.
Exercise… Get a good sweat going, even if it’s just walking in the evening with your partner or pet. The thing is, when you exercise your body needs to recover from that. And this is done in sleep.
Working out, especially weight training, can push you into deep recovery sleep. Just watch out, your body needs more sleep when it has a lot of recovery to do.
I find when I get back into the gym for the first time in a while, I need much MORE sleep at night.
Side note — don’t work out too close to bedtime. Especially vigorous working out… It energizes your body and can produce cortisol (the Enemy of sleep).
And if worry causes sleeping problems for you… Get that stuff out of your head. Meditation can help, which I talk about in Part Two of this article series…
… But I find either talking or writing it out helps a ton. A journal can be as therapeutic as a therapist, in my experience.
And making a “to do” list makes me feel “on top” of my worries. And puts the power back in my court, when I can see a clear cut path to handling the issue of the day.
Finally, you should also take Zen Night before you go to bed… Even if you don’t think you need it… The combo of natural ingredients will help you stay asleep, get deep restful sleep, and wake up refreshed and energized.
Zen Night is great for this for several reasons… First off, it makes you drowsy with the amino acids in it. It reduces the racing thoughts that can keep you awake…
… It relaxes the body. Cuts down on body tension.
But most important for staying asleep — It helps trigger your sleep cycle, which may be out of whack due to the high-tech fast paced lifestyle of the 21st century…
Taking Zen Night can naturally, and gently, force you into the sleep cycle you want, when you want it.
And this means sleeping deep and all through the night. When I don’t take it, I’m a much lighter sleeper, and I don’t feel as rested.
Also… There is a great deal on packages of Zen Night right now that won’t last – so stock up and save on Zen Night now.