10 Tips For Getting A Good Night's Rest PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 April 2012 07:58
taken from If you don't get enough sleep, you're not alone; 70 percent of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep or rest at least once each month, and 11 percent report insufficient sleep or rest every day of the month. Like eating well and being physically active, getting a good night's sleep is vital to your well-being. Here are 10 tips to help you get a good night's sleep...

Stick to a sleep schedule.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends. As creatures of habit, we have a hard time adjusting to altered sleep patterns. While it's tempting to sleep late on weekends, it won't fully make up for your lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder for you to wake up early on Monday morning.

Exercise, but not too late in the day.
Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days, but not later than 2 to 3 hours before your bedtime.

Skip caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and its effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Go easy on coffee, colas, certain teas, and chocolate, which all contain caffeine. Reaching for them in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night.

Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
A “nightcap” might help you get to sleep, but alcohol use keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep (less beneficial than the “restorative” deep sleep stage). You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the sedating effects have worn off.

Pass up large meals and beverages late at night.
A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause you to wake up frequently to urinate.

If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep.
Some commonly prescribed medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see whether any drugs you're taking might be contributing to your insomnia and ask whether they can be taken at other times during the day or early in the evening.

Don't take naps after 3 p.m.
Naps can help make up for lost sleep, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Also, keep naps to under an hour.

Have a good sleeping environment.
Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or warm temperatures. You'll sleep better if the temperature in the room is kept on the cool side.

Relax before bed.
Take time to unwind at the end of the day. Use the hour before bed for quiet time. Engage in a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, as part of your bedtime ritual.

See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.
If you consistently find it difficult to fall or stay asleep and/or feel tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder. Your family doctor or a sleep specialist should be able to help you, and it is important to rule out other health or psychiatric problems that may be disturbing your sleep. Sleep and circadian disturbances and disorders affect an estimated 25–30 percent of children, adolescents, and adults in the United States.


 
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