Simple Ways to Really Solve Sleep Problems
By Sandy Schroeder
If you are still feeling the effects of the holidays, sleep may be one of the things that you are missing right now. Just like healthy snacks and daily walks, restful, regular sleep can get lost in the holiday rush.
When sleep gets lost, we are at risk for colds, weight gain, and serious illnesses. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. But over 50 percent of us get less sleep than that.
Starting fresh, there are some simple ways to make sure that you get the rest that you need.
Establish a Good Bedtime – Pinpoint the best time for you to go to bed and then keep that routine every night, even on the weekends, if you can. Once you have that cycle locked in, you may be surprised how much easier it is to wind down and rest at night.
Move the Electronics – Most of us are guilty of bringing cell phones, laptops, tablets and TVs into the bedroom. The blue light and mental involvement are the opposite of what we need to rest. No matter how unnatural it feels, make the effort to kick the electronics out and see how much better you sleep.
Make Your Bedroom Your Retreat – No matter how hectic the day has been, your bedroom can become a refuge where you simply rest. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows. Choose serene colors and use blackout drapes. Then create a nighttime routine of soft music, warm baths, or healthy snacks to set night apart from the day.
Never Nap – When that mid-afternoon sleepiness catches up with you, do whatever you can to avoid napping. Even small naps can make it harder to sleep at night. If you have to nap, hold it to a half-hour at the most.
Limit Caffeine and Wine – Avoid having coffee or other caffeinated drinks after early afternoon. Caffeine stays in the system for as long as 12 hours. Wine may make you sleepy, but later disrupt your sleep.
Try Some Calmers – If daily issues follow you through the night, you may be consistently waking up at 3 a.m. Use mindfulness meditation or breathing exercises to unwind. At the same time, deal with the issues that are keeping you awake. Once you have them under control, sleep may be more automatic.
Exercise Outside – Even short walks or easy runs outside can use up extra energy and help you sleep. Make sure you get both every day and avoid exercising right before bedtime.
If sleeplessness still persists, see your physician to rule out any other causes, and find healthy solutions.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.