15 Ideas for Better Sleep
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re certainly not alone. It’s estimated that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation! About one-third of U.S. adults sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily, and 40% report feeling drowsy during the day. Science now shows that consistently getting too little sleep can weaken most major body systems .
There’s a good chance that you tend to “stress eat” after a rough day at work. Studies show that getting a good night’s sleep can actually decrease your desire to overeat, especially junk food. Stress leads to negative thinking which can get in the way of maintaining the positive mindset needed to make healthy choices. Being well rested allows you to manage stressful situations with more ease and have the self discipline to make healthier choices at meal time. According to Helen Sanders at healthambition.com, not getting enough sleep can increase your risk for obesity as well.
If you make ‘getting more sleep’ a priority, you may see some changes. It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you, so if after a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may just take some time for your body to adjust.
First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed. For example, if you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00. This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30.
Note: If these simple solutions don’t work for you, be sure to check with your doctor to see if they can find the root cause. A functional medical practitioner or naturopathic doctor may be able to find a good natural solution for you.
Here is a list of 15 things you can try to help improve your sleep:
- Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep)
- Don’t have chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime
- Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
- Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
- Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening
- Sleep in a totally dark room (all sources of light off) or wear eye covers
- Set your bedroom at a comfortable temperature
- Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)
- Take a soothing hot bath at night
- Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down
- Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation
- White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan
- Relax and read before bed
- Yoga or Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress
- Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details, so you can relax).