Good Sleeping Habits
Tips for better sleep
1. Keep regular times for going to bed and getting up.
2. Relax for an hour before going to bed.
3. Don’t go to bed on a full or empty stomach.
4. If you are not asleep within 20 minutes go to another room until you feel tired again.
5. Many sleep sufferers spend too long in bed.
6. Calm your mind before entering the bedroom
7. Sunlight during the day helps you sleep at night.
8. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
9. Sleeping during the day can make it hard to sleep at night.
What are good sleeping habits?
Good sleep habits are now known as good sleep hygiene. There are many things that can be done to improve sleep. Here are some guidelines for you to get a good night’s sleep. Many have trouble sleeping. If you do, some of these simple things may help.
What should I do before going to sleep?
Try to go to bed at the same time each night. The body has an internal clock and hormones that control sleepiness and wakefulness. This clock works best if there is a regular sleep routine. When working well, you will feel sleepy at bed time. Try not to ignore this by staying up, as this is a window of opportunity for sleep. Going to bed too early can also disturb your sleep. In the hour before going to bed, it is important to have a relaxing sleep routine. Although this will vary from person to person some things that you may find relaxing may include reading (not facebook), meditation and breathing exercises.
What shouldn’t I do before going to bed?
Avoid caffeine at least 3 hours before going to bed. That includes coffee and tea, rev me up drinks as well as soft drinks. Alcohol may make it harder to stay asleep. It also makes problems like snoring and sleep apnoea worse. Stimulating activities should also be avoided 2 hours before bed. This includes exercise, games, TV and the blue light of a computer will reduce levels of the sleep producing hormone melatonin.
Eat 2 hours before bed time
Having a full stomach makes it difficult to sleep. An evening meal should be at least 2 hours before bedtime. Often people find having a cup of hot milk at bedtime helps them go to sleep.
When you’re in bed getting ready to sleep
Make sure you’re not too hot or too cold. The mattress, pillow and blankets you use are important. There should be no distractions in the bedroom. This may mean getting rid of the television, radio, laptops and tablets and yes even your phone. If there is a clock in the bedroom, it should be covered to avoid clock watching. Get into your favourite sleeping position and tell yourself its time to sleep. Seriously think happy thoughts, happy memories of your past.
Stay out of your bedroom during the day
Get out of bed. Don’t use your bedroom as a living room where you study, watch TV, make phone calls and read books. This makes it harder to sleep. Train your brain to link bed with sleep. The bedroom should be used for sleeping and intimacy only. Exercise is good for sleep. However not before going to bed. The best times to exercise are in the morning and early evenings. Being out in the natural daylight during the day improves sleep at night, it helps regulate your body clock and the melatonin levels in the body.
I can’t sleep. What do I do?
You can’t force sleep. If you don’t get to sleep within 20-30 minutes you should get up. Go to another darkened room and regroup. When you feel sleepy again go back to bed. This is usually within 20 minutes and helps your mind link bed with sleep.
What if you can’t shut off you mind?
Many lie awake in bed at night and can’t switch of their brains. If this is a problem, put aside a time during the day or early evening and use this time to think about what’s been going on and concerning you. Then try not to think about these things until the next day. Develop a routine to prepare your body and brain to sleep. Create peaceful thoughts. Create a favourite fantasy place, or daydream of your favourite holiday spot. If other thoughts come in, consider them for a moment and then try to gently replace them with your happy / calm thoughts.
How long can I nap for?
If you are taking naps and sleeping at night without problems, and they are short naps or around 30 minutes this should be fine.
Sleep and prescription medications
Some will make it easier to get to sleep. But others may keep you awake. It is best to take them sparingly as they can be very addictive. Sleeping pills are designed for short term use and always under the supervision of your medical doctor. They are only a short-term answer.
How much sleep is enough?
Adults need between 7 and 8 hours sleep each night. Spend no more than 8 or 9 hours in your bed. When you spend more time in bed, you may be telling your body its Ok to drift in and out of sleep all night. Going to bed later at night may be the single best thing to help you experience a better night’s sleep.
A regular routine is important
Stick to a good sleep routine. If good sleep habits are maintained your ability to get to sleep will get better. Find what works for you and stick with it. If you try everything and your sleep still doesn’t get any better than see your GP, natural therapist or sleep specialist.