According to survey results recently published by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly two-thirds of Americans might not be getting enough sleep. If you are one of them, here are some tips to getting the sleep you need, starting tonight.
- No Naptime: In today’s hectic world, it can be easy to fall into an unhealthy pattern of late nights and quick naps that turns the goal of a good night sleep into an impossible dream. Picture this, last night you missed a few hours sleep because you were up with your sick toddler. This afternoon you try to catch up on that lost sleep with a quick nap. That quick nap keeps you awake 2 hours later than normal, causing you to be overtired again tomorrow. To avoid this cycle, the NSF recommends skipping the nap altogether. If you can’t, limit it to no more than 45 minutes and make sure you are up before 3 PM.
- Skip the Soda and the Scotch: To optimize your chances of falling asleep fast and waking up refreshed, limit the amount of caffeine you drink in the evening and avoid alcohol as bedtime approaches. Most people know that as a stimulant, caffeine keeps you awake and avoiding it after dark will help ensure you fall asleep when you go to bed. The NSF also suggests avoiding alcohol as bedtime approaches; it may make you feel sleepier, but it can interfere with the quality of your sleep, which may cause you to wake up early or leave you overtired the next day.
- Get Ready for Bed: Most sleep experts agree that establishing a bedtime routine and consistently following that routine can help ensure you get the sleep you need every night. Your routine should include physical and mental preparations that alert your body the time for sleep is approaching. Put on your pajamas, unplug from technology, pour a cup of chamomile tea and open a bedtime novel. Commit to starting your bedtime routine tonight.
- Make Your Bedroom a Safe Haven for Sleep: Too often, we allow the non-stop pace of daily life to infiltrate the sanctity of our bedrooms. Instead of preserving this space for bedroom activities, we let the remains of the day spill into our sanctuary. Just as Superman has the Fortress of Solitude, and Batman has the Bat Cave, we each need our own safe haven. Make your bedroom into your inner sanctum. Remove any clutter and create a space that is welcoming, comforting and soothes your soul. Protect it from the constant barrage of communications coming into your life through computers, cell phones and 400 channels. Leave the laundry in the laundry room and the bills on your desk. If you make space for sleep in your life, sleep will visit more regularly.
- Plan for Tomorrow, Let Go of Today: Before heading to bed tonight, take a few minutes to review your To Do list and appointments for tomorrow. Use this time to set out items you need for the next day. A simple task like making your lunch will reduce your stress level. Before turning off the light, free your mind of any urgent or racing thoughts to ensure mental noise doesn’t prevent your mind from relaxing. The NSF recommends keeping a journal next to your bed and using it to record any persistent worries or demanding thoughts that seem to keep you from drifting off. Recording problems this way allows your mind to let them go and enables you to fall asleep faster.
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable physicians who provide expert advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. They accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare.
For more information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900 or our website.