Sleep Hygiene Tips for Rejuvenating Sleep
So what are some good sleep hygiene behaviors that you can adopt to improve this crucial aspect of your overall health? Here are some tips gleaned from the National Sleep Foundation:
Avoid daytime napping; it can interrupt your normal sleep/wake cycle at night.
- Avoid stimulants, including caffeine and nicotine, before bedtime. Remember that chocolate contains caffeine. Also avoid alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol may appear to promote sleep, but it can interfere with the normal stages of sleep, preventing you from entering the most restorative phases.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise promotes deep, restful sleep. It also improves virtually every aspect of overall health and wellbeing. We were made to move. Remember, too, that sitting is essentially toxic.
- Avoid food three hours before bedtime. This is especially important for anyone who may suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Expose yourself to natural light in the morning, to help regulate your circadian rhythm. This is especially helpful to counteract jet lag. Conversely, though, avoid afternoon light exposure in a new time zone, or you’ll risk resetting your internal clock in the wrong direction.
- Save your bed for sleeping, not television watching. And especially not anything work-related.
- Do not bring electronics into the bedroom; their blue-wavelength light may impede the release of the sleep-promoting hormone, melatonin. Likewise television.
- Keep your bedroom cool at night. Temperatures from 60 - 67 F° are considered ideal.
- A completely dark, quiet room is best.
- Avoid bright light in the evening.
Do you occasionally struggle to fall or stay asleep? I’d be interested to hear how you’ve learned to cope.