Sleep Week at the BeWell Hut


Feeling crabby lately? Or simply worn out? Perhaps the solution is better sleep.

BETTER SLEEP TIPS

1. Stick to a sleep schedule.

  • Go to bed at the same time, even on the weekends.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep (takes longer than 15 minutes), get up and do something relaxing. Agonizing over falling asleep may do more harm than good.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

  • Do not go to bed hungry or stuffed.
  • Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.  Each substance affects the overall sleep cycle causing you to not sleep as well as possible.

3. Create a bedtime ritual.

  • Do the same things before bed.  This will signal your body to begin to slow down.
  • Avoid electronic devices before bed.  These devices have shown to keep brain activity high, even after being shut down and put away, causing the brain to avoid sleep.

4. Get comfortable.

  • Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet.
  • Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you.

5. Limit daytime naps.

  • If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the mid-afternoon.

6. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

  • Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep.
  • If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.

7. Manage your stress.

  • When you have too much to do — and too much to think about — your sleep is likely to suffer.
  • To help restore peace to your life, consider healthy ways to manage stress.
    • Start with the basics, such as:
      • Get organized;
      • Set priorities;
      • and delegate tasks
    • Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one.
    • Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Lastly, Know when to contact your physician.

  • Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.

URL: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387/NSECTIONGROUP=2

Last Updated: 10/21/2013