There is always the temptation to try to do everything at once, get over whelmed and then become frustrated when things don’t work out so try to incorporated only one or two sleep tips per week. Zero in on the one you think will most likely solve your sleep problem, then add others as the need arises.
Tips for During the Day
You may want to see a psychologist or psychiatrist if emotional stress in your life is causing you to have a poor night’s sleep.
Exercise in the afternoon to relieve stress and to physically tire yourself out. Avoid exercising later in the evening as it will be too stimulating and it will keep your from falling asleep.
Avoid caffeinated beverages. It could be as late as after dinner or as early at 3pm for some people.
Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed or overeat. That lump in your stomach will keep you awake and you have an increased change of getting heartburn or acid reflux.
If you require 8 hours of sleep in order to feel refreshed the next day, you should go to bed 8 ½ hours before you plan to wake up. This will allow you 20 minutes to read and relax and 10 minutes to quiet down and get to sleep. Adjust this to suit your needs.
You can improve your sleep by quitting smoking. Some heavy smokers can wake up in the middle of the night for a smoke to keep up their nicotine level in their body.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Drinking in the evening may knock you out, but your sleep will be fragmented and you may awake in the middle of the night with a hangover or feeling dehydrated.
Tips for Before Bed
You can try a warm bath, light music or a little meditation.
Have a light snack of a small glass of milk and a banana with a little peanut butter.
Turn off the TV and computer earlier in the evening as the light will stimulate your brain. Read a book instead. Pick up some light reading like a novel or magazine. I often do the crossword or the Sudoku puzzles from the days paper.
Establish a regular sleep routine you can follow every night that can act as cues for your body and mind to prepare for sleep.
Go to bed at the same time every night. You body will get used to it and you will naturally start to become tired as your bedtime approaches.
Be positive about getting to sleep. Worrying that you won’t fall asleep can often become a self fulfilling prophecy.
Tips for During the Night
Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and a little on the cool side.
Keep a pen and pad beside your bed so you can write down anything important that may come to you. Then let it go and get back to sleep.
Save solving your problems for the morning. People rarely come up with an ideal solution by ruminating over a problem at night.
Try to take any sleep medication as a last resort and make sure there is an adult in the house who is not taking anything so someone can be alert if there is an emergency during the night. You should also be cautious as the risk of a fall increases for those who have taken a sleep aid and have to get up during the night.
Try a few of the sleep tips tonight and see if they improve your night’s sleep.
What do you do to help you get to sleep? Do you have a tip you can share? Leave a comment below.