Tags: insomnia | sleep | exercise | stimulants

Follow a Regular Bedtime Routine

By Friday, 10 November 2017 02:25 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Each of us has daily habits that are so ingrained, we hardly notice them. We often fail to realize the impact these habits have on our lives and our health.

Nowhere is this more true than with our sleep habits.

To reduce insomnia, fall asleep faster, and get a better quality sleep, the National Sleep Foundation recommends these tips. You may not need to use all of them. Using one or two that apply to your personal situation can make all the difference:

• Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time seven days a week. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps to regulate your body’s internal clock.

• Start a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing routine before bedtime helps you transition from activity to rest. Turn off the TV and any other electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Instead, try meditation, prayer, or reading an inspirational passage in a dim room with just a reading light. Eliminate all lighting from electronics no matter how dim, even the indicator lights on the cable TV box.

• Avoid late afternoon naps. If you find you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating naps may resolve the problem.

• Get more exercise. If your body isn’t ready for sleep at bedtime, it might be telling you that it hasn’t completed its day’s work. Getting more exercise during the day may help your body become ready for sleep at night.

• Re-think your bedroom. Your bedroom should be designed for sleep. This means little or no light and sound. Blackout curtains, sleep masks, earplugs, white noise machines, humidifiers, fans, and similar devices can all help reduce light and mask disturbing sounds. Any night lights or illuminated clocks should be as dim as possible.

• Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow. Many people literally toss and turn on their mattress because it is beyond its intended lifespan. Replace mattresses at least every 8 to 10 years and rotate them every 6 months. Choose a pillow that supports your head and neck and is made of hypo-allergenic materials (even if you don’t have allergies).

• Avoid stimulants, depressants, and heavy meals in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine are notorious sleep disrupters. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. If any of these are too big of a challenge to complete on your own, seek help; you’ll be glad you did. Eating large or spicy evening meals can also make it hard to sleep. Switch your biggest meal of the day to lunch. Have a light supper and try a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.

• If you can’t sleep, get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. Keep reading materials, computers, and televisions out of the bedroom.

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To reduce insomnia, fall asleep faster, and get a better quality sleep, the National Sleep Foundation recommends these tips.
insomnia, sleep, exercise, stimulants
Friday, 10 November 2017 02:25 PM
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