When life gets busy, sleep is affected – either we shorten the amount of time we sleep or we get disrupted sleep. This can cause frustration and further affecting our quality of sleep. Research shows that when we get less than 7 hours of sleep, we are at greater risk for health problems, injury and making mistakes. Many of us are active until bedtime and then have a challenge quieting our mind! So what can we do?
1. Develop a sleep ritual for bedtime. Do the same thing in the same order before going to bed to help cue your body to slow down and relax.
2. Avoid heavy meals late in the evening. This affects our metabolism and creates energy which keeps us awake. If you are hungry, eat a light snack such as yogurt or a small apple.
3. Reduce your intake of caffeine and nicotine 4-6 hours before going to sleep. Stimulants interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
4. Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. As a depressant, alcohol will slow brain activity and may make you feel tired but usually leads to fragmented sleep and may aggravate snoring.
5. Exercise regularly – even 20 minutes, 3 times a week, promotes deep sleep. Consider gentle leg or arm stretches 20-30 minutes before bedtime to help calm the nervous system.
6. Do Not Nap more than 30 minutes or after 3 pm. Longer naps or naps later in the day disrupt the body’s ability to stay asleep. See link below for a breath technique that may help with sleep.
7. Keep your room dark and cool giving an atmosphere conducive to sleeping.
Sweet Dreams 🙂