According to the American Sleep Association there are several ways to improve your sleep and overall mood. It is important to maintain good sleep and promote your health as a whole. Here are some of the tips from us and ASA that provides guidelines to get better sleep.
- Maintain a regular sleep routine. The best way to do this is to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time. When this is maintained your schedule should remain the same and your body will learn to walk up without an alarm.
- Avoid naps if possible. Naps can decrease the 'sleep debt' that is necessary for easy sleep onset. Because we only need a certain amount of sleep in 24-hours when we take naps it may cause fragmentations to our schedule and lead to insomnia.
- Don't stay in bed awake for more than 5-10 minutes. When you stay in bed for over 10 minutes, your mind racing and anxiety of your schedule is building up, then get out of bed and sit in a chair in the dark. Do this till your mind calms down and you get drowsy. Make sure you stay away from the TV and internet, they will stimulate you more.
- Don;t watch TV, read, or use electronic devices in bed. When you do these things in bed your mind will associate the bed with wakefulness. The bed should be reserved for sleep and "business".
- Do not drink caffein in appropriately. The effects of caffeine (coffee, soda, tea, etc.) may last for several hours after being ingested and can fragment sleep. If you drink caffeine, have it only before noon.
- Avoid inappropriate substances that interfere with sleep. Alcohol, cigarettes, and over-the-counter medication can cause fragmented sleep that leads to insomnia.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise before 2pm every day, if possible. This will promote continuous sleep and a healthy body. Make sure to avoid rigorous exercise before bedtime, this can lead to released endorphins that may cause a difficulty in initiating sleep.
Here are some other useful tips to relaxed sleeping:
- Have a quiet and peaceful bedroom with a comfortable mattress and pillow (we know where you can get some of those).
- Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
- Turn off all extraneous noises (TV and music) and use earplugs if you are a light sleeper.
- Have a pre-bedtime routine to set your mind at ease and prepared for sleep.
- Turn off bright lights.
- Don't watch the clock at night.
- If your pets wake you up, keep them outside the bedroom.