January 22, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Guidelines for Better Sleep

• Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (or on most days)
• Avoid strenuous exercise before bedtime. Do not exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime
• Turn off the TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime
• Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, like taking a hot bath with aromatherapy oils
• Eat lightly in the evening. A heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes with sleep. If you need a snack, stay away from protein and stick to carbohydrates or dairy products. Milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which has been proven to improve sleep
• Avoid caffeine at least 4 to 6 hours (preferably 8 hours) before bedtime. This stimulant found in coffee, tea, pop, and even chocolate, can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep
• Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol is a depressant and may help you fall asleep, the subsequent metabolism that clears it from your body when you are sleeping cause a withdrawl syndrome. This withdrawl causes awakenings and if often associated with nightmares and night sweats
• Use the bed just for sleeping and sex. Avoid watching TV, using a laptop, or reading in bed. If reading before bed helps you to fall asleep make sure you use a very low wattage light bulb (15 watt should be enough)
• Avoid bright light around the house before bed. Using dimmer switches in living rooms and bathrooms before bed can be helpful
• Avoid looking at the clock if you wake up in the middle of the night, it can cause anxiety
• If after 30 minutes you can’t get to sleep, get out of bed and do something boring in dim light until you are sleepy
• Sleep primarily at night. Daytime naps steal hour from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to less than 1 hour, no later than 3pm

No comments:

Post a Comment