Monthly Archives: February 2014

Eight Simple Things You Can Do to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Nearly everyone will have trouble sleeping from time to time. You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Either way, these challenges can affect your life in many negative ways. The good news is that there are simple strategies you can use to get a better night’s sleep.

Try these strategies to chase away your insomnia and wake up refreshed:

1. Keep the lights off. Even small lights can affect your body’s natural ability to determine night from day. Turn off all the lights when it’s time for bed, including nightlights, bathroom lights, and computers. Sometimes even the neon numbers from your alarm clock can be bothersome.

2. Wind down at night. Avoid trying to transition straight from an activity to sleep time. This can cause your mind to race continuously. Approximately 30 minutes before you go to bed, do something calming in order to ease your mind. Many people find activities such as praying, meditating, reading, or listening to relaxing music to be the perfect sleep inducer.

3. Keep yourself on a schedule. It’s always a good idea to have your life on a general schedule. It works well for babies, toddlers, and for you too! Schedules allow you to set up natural rhythms in your body and mind.

* Sleeping for different lengths of time can confuse your body. If you have trouble sleeping one night, get up at the normal time and remain on your normal schedule the next day.

4. Keep an eye on your diet. Eating a balanced diet gives you a better chance for a good night’s sleep. It’s especially important to pay attention to the things you eat and drink in the few hours before your bedtime.

* It’s best to avoid anything containing sugar, caffeine, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, or red dyes shortly before you sleep.

* Try drinking chamomile tea before bed. Chamomile is a calming herb.

5. Exercise during the day. Keeping yourself on a regular exercise routine will actually help you get a quality night’s rest. Even 30 minutes of light exercise can benefit you in many ways.

* Avoid exercising right before you go to bed, because exercise energizes you.

6. Avoid naps. Naps can be tempting, especially during a lull in the afternoon. However, some people tend to have trouble with their nighttime sleep if they nap during the day. If you feel that you must take a nap, try to make it only 15 to 30 minutes. That should be enough time to give you a little rest before continuing with your day.

7. Ensure you’re comfortable. Your bed might even be interfering with your sleep. Are you having issues with the quality of your mattress or the type of blankets and pillows you use? If they feel uncomfortable in any way, try changing to a different style.

* What about the positions that you use for sleep? Do you have plenty of room to stretch out and get comfortable?

8. Check the temperature. Determine the temperature you enjoy sleeping at during the night. It’s usually a few degrees cooler than you’ll keep the house during the day. You may want to experiment with adjusting the temperature.

* Also pay attention to the humidity to keep you from feeling stuffy. During the winter, the heater can dry out the air and a humidifier in your bedroom can help you breathe easier.

A good night’s sleep is critical to your health and enables you to live an active, fulfilling life. Just keep searching for a strategy that works for you. If you continue to have trouble sleeping after trying these tips, keep in mind that you can always talk with a physician about your insomnia.