01 September 2011

Sleep tips: 7 steps for good sleep

Do you often find it hard to get to sleep?  Do you wake thinking, find it hard to get back to sleep and then wake up tired?

Maybe you can make some changes that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple sleep tips.

1: Stay to your sleep routine
Go to bed and rise at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays.  Consistency reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and promotes better sleep.

2: Watch what you eat and drink
Leave a couple of hours between your evening meal and bedtime, but don't go to bed too hungry either.  Don't drink too much water right before bed if you are prone to having to go to the toilet at night.

Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.   Nicotine and caffeine are too stimulating, and even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can rebound and wake you later in the night.

3: Have a bedtime ritual
Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down.  You can keep the lights low and meditate, listen to music, read or have a warm bath or shower.  This can help you to start feeling drowsy and wind down from the busy day.  Avoid television and computers as the bright screens and movement are too stimulating.  Don't have a TV in your bedroom.

4: Be comfortable
Your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet.  According to your needs you can use room-darkening curtains, earplugs, white noise machines, a fan or anything else that addresses discomforts like heat, noise and light.  Make sure you've got a comfortable mattress and pillow, not too many blankets, and enough room to sleep comfortably.

5: Daytime naps
If you must nap in the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes at around 3 or 4pm - set an alarm to wake you.

6: Exercise every day
Daily exercise promotes better sleep, helping you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep.  Some people need to exercise earlier in the day as evening exercise can be too stimulating.

7: Reduce stress
When you have too much to do and too much to think about your sleep will be affected.  Make sure you're well organised, ask for help and delegate when you can, and prioritise the demands on your time.  Take plenty of breaks and time out to clear your mind during the day.  Make time for social and leisure activities.  If you have something on your mind, write it in a notebook as part of your bedtime routine so you clear your mind before you lie down in bed.

If you would like more information, please:

This post is brought to you by Sonia Barton, Bowen Therapist at Ocean Acupuncture in Curl Curl on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Ocean Acupuncture is a natural medicine centre of independent health practitioners. The views expressed in this blog are the author's only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the other Ocean Acupuncture practitioners.
The information presented in this blog, and on the Ocean Acupuncture website, is for interest and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for health or medical information or advice. For health or medical advice, please consult your health professional.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to add a comment!