1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
It is important to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. This consistency reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and assists in promoting better sleep at night. However, if you can’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you are tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you may find it even tougher to nod off.
2. Watch What you Eat and Drink
Never go to bed hungry or stuffed. These discomforts may keep you awake. Also, limit how much you drink before bed to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom.
Nicotine and caffeine have stimulating effects that take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. Also, even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night.
3. Create a Bedtime Routine
Do the same things each night to tell your body it is time to wind down, such as taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book or listening to soothing music with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Be cautious of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Research suggests that screen time or other media utilized before bedtime interferes with sleep.
4. Get Comfortable
Your room should be ideal for sleeping. This usually means cool, dark and quiet. Room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices can create an environment that suits your needs.
Your mattress and pillow can also contribute to better sleep. Good bedding is subjective, so choose what feels most comfortable to you. If you share a bed, just make sure there is enough room for two. If you have children or pets, set limits on how often they can sleep with you.
5. Limit Daytime Naps
Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep, particularly if you are struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you need to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10-30 minutes during the mid-afternoon.
If you work nights, an exception will need to be made about daytime sleeping. If this is your case, keep window coverings closed so that sunlight — which adjusts your internal clock — doesn’t interrupt your daytime sleep.
6. Daily Physical Activity
Exercising regularly can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. However, exercising too close to bedtime might cause you to be too energized to fall asleep. If this is an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.
7. Manage Stress
Sleep is likely to suffer when you have too much to do or think about. Consider healthy ways to manage stress to help restore peace. Begin with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Make sure to take a break when you need one. Before bed, write down what is on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
Everyone has a sleepless night occasionally, but if you often have trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Brashear Family Medical Center with the link below. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you to get the better sleep that you deserve.