It’s the middle of January, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?
Have they already fallen to the wayside or are you still going strong? Most of us could use a resolution that we can add to the “win” column of goals when it comes time to evaluate 2018. How about a resolution that will make all your other resolutions easier? Sleep Better.
A good night sleep can help you get through whatever is on your agenda for the day. We all know how miserable those days after a poor night can be. When several nights of poor sleep stack up it can have a negative impact on our health, productivity and emotional well being. Sleep is our natural reset button, but it’s more than just rest. Sleep is the foundation of good health. When we sleep our bodies have a chance to repair muscle and tissue, consolidate memories, release necessary hormones, boost our immune system and restore our energy.
Sleep Changes Everything™
10 tips to improve your sleep.
- Schedule – A consistent bedtime and waking up around the same time each reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. It’s tempting to sleep in or stay up late when you have a deadline, but sticking to your routine will help your body to know when it’s time to sleep.
- Drink – Limit alcohol before bedtime. While it can help you fall asleep, it can also disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to stay asleep. Nicotine and caffeine should also be limited. Try to avoid caffeine after 3 or 4 pm and pay attention to how your body reacts to caffeine. Some people need to cut out caffeine at noon. A good night sleep can help you kick that caffeine habit. A cup of herbal tea can be relaxing before bed.
- Food – Try to eat dinner a couple of hours before bedtime. Being hungry or too full can disrupt your sleep.
- Surroundings – Create a bedroom that allows you to get a restful night sleep. Remove any bright lights, such as a bright clock or your phone. If you find yourself looking at something throughout the night remove it if you can.
- Exercise – Regular exercise can help you sleep better, however try to avoid strenuous workout activity close to bedtime.
- Stress Management – Do you worry or think of all the items on your to-do list when it’s time to sleep? Try making a list for the next day so you don’t need to try and remember everything.
- Naps – Limit naps to 30 minutes (20 minutes is recommended) and try not to nap late in the day. Naps can become a crutch for dealing with sleepless nights and they can also have a negative impact on how well you sleep at night.
- Ritual – Develop a bedtime routine that helps you relax before bedtime. It works for children and can also be beneficial for adults. Read, take a bath, stretch, meditate…experiment to develop a routine that works for you.
- Cool Down – A cooler temperature promotes better sleep, between 60 and 67 degrees is optimal. Turn down your thermostat an hour before bedtime. A fan a can also help keep you cool at night with the added benefit of providing white noise.
- Noise – Turn off your phone or at least place it on do not disturb mode. If you hear every little bump in the night consider some white noise, a fan or a sound machine. There are also loads of apps for white noise or relaxation sounds.
These tips will improve your sleep hygiene. To take your sleep to the next level, you will need additional products or doctor’s care. It is important to breathe well and to minimize pain while sleeping. Oral appliances or CPAP machines can improve your breathing, so discuss with your doctor or dentist to see if you are a candidate. A proper mattress and pillow combination can reduce pain while sleeping. You and your health are worth the effort, so do all you can to improve your sleep and sleep happy. A good night’s sleep feels so good.