Health Sleeping Tips
So, this is all completely anecdotal, but here’s some things that have helped me:
First, if you’re in a sleep deficit (you haven’t slept for a full night in a while, most of your sleeping lately has been drunken passing out, etc) take a couple days to a week of going to bed at the same time and waking up naturally — no alarm. Use your best judgment to know how much sleeping to you’ll need; I usually allow myself ten hours and make sure I have no morning meetings that week.
After you’re back to normal, try combining these strategies:
Develop a “bedtime routine” — brush your teeth, wash your face, look at porn, pray, whatever. Do it before going to bed every day.
Part of your bedtime routine should be drinking a glass of water, and then refilling the glass and putting it on your bedside. You lose a lot of water via breathing while sleeping, which in turn makes it harder to wake up. As soon as your alarm goes off, chug the glass of water.
Develop a regular sleep schedule — go to bed and wake up at the same time, every day. Including weekends!
When figuring out your sleep schedule, choose a multiple of 1.5 hours and add fifteen minutes. An REM cycle is 90 minutes, and it takes about fifteen minutes on average to pass out. You’ll want 4-6 complete cycles per night (6, 7.5, or 9 hours).
Do some sort of physical activity every day. You don’t have to run a marathon but some sort of regular exercise will help you sleep (as well as improve your health overall).
Avoid caffeine or other stimulants for a few hours before going to sleep.
I would encourage you to try melatonin if your sleep issues are bothering you. If they’re not, then this unsolicited advice is pointless, anyway.
Melatonin is naturally occurring in many plants and animals, and is the hormone largely responsible for setting your “internal clock”. Your brain releases melatonin when it determines that it is time to sleep, and it is what gives you that sleepy feeling when it gets dark. This by itself, of course, doesn’t make it safe or less of a drug.
For nights that I feel stressed or I know I won’t be fast asleep… 2 hours before bed, I mix a 12oz drink of water with 1tsp of magnesium to aid better sleep. If you feel 12oz is too much water before bed, dial it back down to 8oz. Usually a 2 hour gap lets me go to the bathroom before heading to bed.
I do the same thing with melatonin if I know I need a good nights rest.