HEALTHY LIVING: 8 WAYS TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
A bad night's sleep can put anyone on edge, leaving you feeling exhausted, cranky, and poorly equipped to handle the stress of your busy life and job. Stress, in turn, can interfere severely with sleep, simultaneously affecting your blood pressure and heart health.
In order to improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, practice good sleep habits. Here are 8 pointers to keep in mind:
Transform your bedroom into a sanctuary devoted to the art of sleep.
GET INTO A PATTERN AND MAINTAIN THE ROUTINE
Try to head to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you enjoy sleeping in on weekends, give yourself an extra 30 – 60 minutes, but no more.
ESTABLISH TRIGGERS THAT SIGNAL WHEN BEDTIME IS APPROACHING
In order to prepare yourself for sleep, end your day with a bath to help you relax and get you in the right frame of mind.
TRANSFORM YOUR BEDROOM INTO A SANCTUARY DEVOTED TO THE ART OF SLEEP
That means no work, no clutter, and no television.
MAKE SURE THAT YOUR ROOM IS DARK ENOUGH
Check that your curtains or blinds are sufficient when it comes to blocking outside light, which can disrupt your sleep.
Near bedtime, avoid stimulants or other known sleep disruptors.
PLAY SOOTHING MUSIC SET AT A LOW VOLUME
Some people find that this helps to create a calm and pleasant mood before bed. A fan or white-noise machine can also help you to relax and block out distractions.
AVOID STIMULANTS OR OTHER KNOWN SLEEP DISRUPTORS
Caffeinated drinks, like coffee, chocolate, hot chocolate and soft drinks, can increase your energy levels and disrupt your sleep.
STOP WORK ACTIVITIES OR CHORES A LITTLE WHILE BEFORE BEDTIME
Over-stimulating your mind can also chase those Z’s away. Instead, curl up with a book or a puzzle (as long as either of them don’t tempt you to stay up late!).
If you attempt to make positive changes to your sleep habits, but still toss and turn, talk to your doctor about other solutions that may help you to get the rest that you need. Remember, good quality sleep can affect your overall health, so make sure that you make it a priority!