With busy, stressful lives, often comes sleep deprivation and overall just not getting enough sleep. According to the Huffington Post, “In their first study of self-reported sleep length, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 34.8 percent of American adults are getting less than seven hours of sleep — the minimum length of time adults should sleep in order to reduce risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, mental distress, coronary heart disease and early death.” Falling asleep may seem like an impossible dream when you’re awake at 3 a.m., but good sleep is more under your control than you might think. Here are a few tips that can help you get better sleep: Regulate your sleep schedule.
- Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
- Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jet lag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
- Be smart about napping. While napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make things worse. Limit them to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
- The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
- It can take several months of regular activity before you experience the full sleep-promoting effects. So be patient and focus on building an exercise habit that sticks.
- Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up to the top of your head.
- Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that’s calming and peaceful. Concentrate on how relaxed this place makes you feel.
Not sleeping? Tossing and turning at night? Waking up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep? Or even having trouble falling asleep because you are in bed worrying about life? It’s no fun when you wake up feeling more tired, not refreshed, in the morning and are excessively tired during the day. You’re not alone. More than 25 percent of Americans report not getting enough sleep occasionally, and 10%, according to the CDC, experience insomnia almost every night. There are a lot of things that can help you have a chance to get some sleep. Consider exercise, turning off your screens far before going to bed, and do not drink alcohol to make you sleep, it just doesn’t work. Exercise. Did you know, regular exercise can be a great way to help stimulate better sleep? If you have trouble sleeping, avoid working out too late. Strenuous exercise can make you more alert. It also increases your body temperature, which may stay elevated for as many as six hours. Steer clear of workouts too close to bedtime. Aim to complete a workout two or three hours before you plan on going to sleep. Turn off your screens. It's tempting to try to wind down by reading on the computer or watching TV before bed, but both can actually stimulate you. The light and noise of TVs and computers can be engaging and can reduce brain melatonin levels. You want your melatonin levels to increase around bedtime to help you fall asleep. Need just a little noise to help you drift off? Try listening to relaxing music or download a relaxing, sleep app. Do not drink Alcohol - it doesn’t work. Think a cocktail before bed will offer relief? Think again. This myth probably persists because alcohol can help you fall asleep. But as it moves through your body it may lead to disturbed, restless sleep, or it may make you wake earlier. The sleep that you lose is hard to catch up on. It's unlikely that you can fully catch up, especially with our busy schedules. . Sleeping in one or two days a week or over the weekend may actually upset your natural body clock. The disruption may make it harder to get to sleep the next time. The only way to catch up on lost sleep is to get back into a regular sleep schedule. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you are having problems sleeping. We can help!