HOW TO GET BETTER SLEEP
Getting better sleep can make all the difference in the world to the quality of our relationships, life and work! This is a great list of sleep hygiene tips. Give them a try and see if your sleep improves …
- Try to keep a regular sleep/wake schedule. Wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends and holidays.
- Pre-sleep rituals help to initiate relaxation each night before bed. A warm bath, light snack, or a few minutes of reading or listening to music can initiate good sleep.
- Take steps to manage blue light exposure 2 hours before bed. Watching television and using a computer, phone or tablet before bed is not a great idea. If you do, set your phones and tablets to filter blue light or use blue blocking glasses.
- Wait until you are sleepy before going to bed. If you’re not sleepy at your regular bedtime, try to relax your body and distract your mind by reading, listening to music, or some other activity.
- If you’re not asleep in 20 minutes, get out of bed. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and find something else that will relax you enough to help make you sleepy.
- The bed should be used for sleep and sex only. Do not read, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, play games or discuss emotional issues in bed. We can associate the bed with other activities and it often becomes difficult to fall asleep.
- Keep a regular daily schedule. Maintaining a regular schedules for meals, medications, chores, and other activities helps keep your body’s clock running smoothly.
- Get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. Get enough sleep every day so that you feel well-rested.
- If possible, avoid naps. If you do nap, make it no more than about 25 minutes about eight hours after you awake. But if you have problems falling asleep, then no naps for you.
- Avoid a heavy meal too close to bedtime. A light snack may be sleep-inducing, but a heavy meal interferes with sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after lunch. Caffeine is also a stimulant and is present in coffee (100-200 mg), soda (50-75 mg), tea (50-75 mg), and various over-the-counter medications. Caffeine should be discontinued at least four to six hours before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime. Although alcohol is a depressant and may help you fall asleep, the subsequent metabolism that clears it from your body when you are sleeping causes a withdrawal syndrome. This withdrawal causes awakenings and is often associated with nightmares and sweats.
- Exercise regularly, but avoid strenuous exercise 3-4 hours before bedtime. Regular exercise is good, but do it earlier in the day.
- Try to clear your mind of things that make you worry. Find ways to relieve stress and aggravation before you go to sleep. The bed is a place to rest, not a place to worry about the day’s problems.
- Maintain a quiet, dark and cool bedroom environment. Every person has his or her own personal preference as to the ideal sleep environment. Extreme heat or cold should be avoided. If you need noise, use white noise or soft music. If you need light, use off-light such as a night light in the bathroom or hallway.
Not much to lose in trying some of these sleep hygiene tips, except hopefully some grogginess!