The average American is suffering from sleep deprivation. Trying to keep up with today's fast paced world is becoming impossible and people are left with little time to get the sleep they need and / or when they sleep, it is not the quality of sleep needed to maintain good health, judiciary, energy and functioning .
Here are some tried and true tips and a few new ones that may help you Improve Your Sleep Quality.
1. Try taking Melatonin, 1 mg before bed. Melatonin helps regulate the body's sleep cycles and as we age, we produce less of it. It is also used by the US military for troops being sent overseas to help prevent jet lag. Do your own research on this natural substance you can get in pill form from your local store or pharmacy.
2. Spray lavender on your pillow before bed – this will help relax you and allow you to fall sleep more quickly. It helps to keep lavender oil and other means in the bathroom to assist with relaxing too.
3. Wake up at the same time every day – even day's off or when you do not work. This keeps your internal clock on track.
4. Spend an hour before bed doing relaxing activities such as reading, meditating, gratitude, guided imagery, centering yourself, bathing, pampering yourself, relaxing music or some quiet time. Watching TV right until you go to bed does not allow for your body and mind to slow and let go of the day's struggle on it. The need to relax mentally and physically is key.
5. Let go, do not go to bed thinking of the list of things to do the next day. You need to create a peaceful mind.
6. Have sex ……. yup, you heard me! Sex is great for unwinding the mind and body, it helps to release hormones that will help you sleep and you will have a more positive feeling and outlook as you go to bed. It also promotes a healthy relationship. Another benefit of sex before bed is the calories it uses up.
7. Seriously work on managing your time, being more organized, simplifying your life, working less hours or a job closer to home, etc. that will free up some hours during your day that can be used for more pleasant activities and create less stress. Stress is detrimental to getting good quality sleep.
8. Do not work late or close to the time you will be going to bed.
9. Make your bedroom a zone that promotes sleep – no TV in the bedroom, make it comfortable and inviting, eliminate as much light as possible (electronics, night lights, computer screen, dark-out curtains, etc.) and do not forget to make sure people know not to call you after a certain time. Re-do your room to create the type of atmosphere that you will just love going to bed / sleep in … nice sheets or bed covers, scents in the air, relaxation music, no sun / light / noise penetrating, make it your get away spot of your dreams.
10. Do not eat a heavy meal at least 3 hrs or less before your bedtime, the digestive process with heavy meals will likely keep you awake. The old saying about milk before bed is true as it has tryptophan, same as found in turkey, which promotes sleep.
11. Buy a new mattress. It is amazing how many people are sleeping on poor mattresses. Your mattress does not need to be expensive, at all, just try various ones out by laying on them for at least 15 minutes in the store … yes, 15 minutes. You would spend more time than that checking out a car, so spend the time you need for the one thing that you use for so many hours every day and which can seriously impact your life and well being. There is mounting evidence that the sleep number beds are extremely beneficial for people, especially for couples who usually like or firmness in mattresses. Do not have the money right now; the best deal I've found is at Overstock.com for a 3 inch thick, 4 lb density foam mattress topper pad. Every bed in my house has a pad and it has made an incredible difference in sleep for me …. which is critical since I've had back surgery and am very picky now.
12. If you do not fall sleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, go into another room and do something else until you feel drowsy.
13. If you do not give yourself an hour before bed, then at least change what you are watching on the TV, no news with negativity, loud / violent / fast image changing shows and the same for videos as all counter act the need to relax before going to bed to get good quality sleep.
14. Your bedroom temperature should be lower than the rest of the house … not cold but cool which prompts better sleep.
15. Try taking a nap between 1-4 pm during the day, it will actually help invigorate you and not affect your night sleep. There are a couple of CDs available for 10-minute quick naps – http://www.wendi.com and Dr. Jeffery Thompson who pioneered this and sells on his own website and through Amazon.com.
16. Do not exercise right before bedtime.
17. If you work the night shift, here are some tips for you:
a. live as close to your job as possible
b. do not drive, if you can help it. Most shift-workers report driving drowsy after shift.
c. forget the quick fix
d. if your schedule is about to change; start altering your sleep time 3 days in advance.
e. use room-darkening drapes
f. get outdoors once you wake up; go for a walk out in the sun. This cues your biological clock that it's time to be alert.
g. use a white noise machine or fan to mute outside sounds.
h. if your hours rotate, ask your manager to schedule succeeding shifts so that a new one starts later than the last one, advises the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
18. You do need 8 hrs of sleep and getting good quality sleep helps you maintain your weight more easily.
Improving the quality and quantity of sleep is important for you. Lack of quality sleep will affect your health, your mental abilities and the quality of your life. So, please follow the above suggestions as much as you can so you can live life more fully.
Tonia Boterf – The Practical Expert (TM) is there to lend you a hand, information and the tools you need. Through coaching, articles, books and other resources, http://www.thepracticalexpert.com is your best experienced resource in helping you live your life fully while assisting your aging parents in living their lives fully too. Try a free trial coaching session to get some individualized help with some of your tough challenges in your life or with dealing with your parents. Our goal is to be there for you, so you can be there for your elderly parents.
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