A good night's sleep is not something to take for granted.
It's also something we assume we shouldn't have to work for. But this isn't true.
Just as it's absurd to assume a plump sheet of brownies will appear magically without some prep work (believe me, I've tried!), it's foolhardy to expect restful sleep without some responsible planning (because adulthood).
Sure, I get it. You're busy. When your monstrous to-do list doesn't get finished during the day, you feel you have no choice but to borrow from your sleep time to get things done.
In the short-term, this brings you high-fives. Long-term, this is dangerous.
Slumber is sacred and needs to be protected. You can read more about the consequences of poor sleep here.
These are the top recommendations I give to my clients each day who struggle with sleeping (adjustments might need to be made due to shiftwork):
No caffeine after 2pm (Yes, you read that right. The 6-hour half-life on that 4pm cup of coffee means it's only half-exited your system at 10pm. Enjoy.)
No alcohol after 6pm (Yes, you read that right, too. That lovely glass of red wine you like to unwind with might put you to sleep, but it works against you staying asleep).
No exercise 2 hours before bedtime, but do exercise for 30+ minutes daily.
No screens (tv, phone, tablet) 2 hours before bedtime. Seriously.
Consider your medications that might be causing insomnia.
No large meals 1 hour prior to bedtime.
No daytime napping (greater than 15 minutes).
Wake up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time every day. Routine is key.
A cool dark room, with white noise, and lots of ventilation is best.
Consider holistic supplements such as: melatonin, chamomile, lavender, 5-htp and magnesium.
If all of the above does not work, ask your clinician to consider a sleep study to rule out any underlying pathology. Consider CAREFULLY the adverse effects that can result from taking a prescription sleeping medication every night.
DISCLAIMER: Thanks for reading the above, but whoever you are: unless you are living in my household (which I think I would have noticed), it’s very unlikely that I have any idea what sort of medical history, medication regimen, allergies, and any other health intricacies you carry. Therefore, you should NOT interpret the above as medical advice for yourself, and instead present this information to your personal clinician for consideration.