6 Ways to Seek Sounder Sleep
Physical discomfort, mental stress, and emotional agony can interrupt a sound night’s sleep. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to sleep. Tossing and turning as your mind is racing, going over everything that happened in the day. Night noises keep you awake. What can you do? There ARE things you can do.
1) What are you sleeping on?
A comfortable and supportive mattress and a soothing pillow are the factors to a deep night’s sleep. A mattress which is too old, too firm, or too saggy will create painful pressure points on your body, and cause tossing and turning. Only use your bed for sleeping. Refrain from using your bed to watch TV, pay bills, do work or reading. So when you go to bed your body knows it is time to sleep. Sex is the only exception.
2) How sleepy are you?
Sleep only when you are sleepy and you will reduce the time you lie awake in bed. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy. Reading the warranty of your refrigerator or vacuum cleaner will probably do the trick. And a little advice to the Nappers out there…. to ensure you are tired at bedtime, avoid napping in general or limit naps to less than one hour, before 3 pm.
3) What is your nightly sleep ritual?
Get up and go to bed the same time every day….even on weekends! When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better. It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, have a cup of caffeine free tea, do relaxation exercises or take a hot bath which will raise your body temperature followed by a drop in body temperature that may leave you feeling sleepy.
4) Do you have an ideal sleep environment established?
A hot room can be uncomfortable. A cooler room along with enough blankets to stay warm is recommended. If light in the early morning bothers you, get a blackout shade or wear a slumber mask. If noise bothers you, wear earplugs or get a “white noise” machine.
5) Is your appetite promoting or interfering with your sleep?
If your stomach is too empty, that can interfere with sleep. However, if you eat a heavy meal before bedtime, that can interfere as well. Dairy products and turkey contain tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer. Tryptophan is probably why a warm glass of milk is sometimes recommended. Stay away from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some prescription and non-prescription drugs contain caffeine. Cigarettes and some drugs contain nicotine. Alcohol may seem to help you sleep in the beginning as it slows brain activity, but you will end up having fragmented sleep.
6) What does exercise have to do with sleep?
Refrain from exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime. Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep.
This website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Live & Sleep is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this website. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.