Rivergate’s Health & Wellness Blog
May is National Sleep Month
Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep, from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges. It is no wonder that sleep for some can be elusive. Although you may not be able to control all the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Here are a few:
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on your weekends and holidays. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Both could keep you awake. Things like nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can disrupt your sleep. Protein before bedtime helps you fall asleep and reach a deeper, better quality sleep.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Do the same thing each night to tell your body it is time to wind down, like taking a warm bath or a relaxing shower, listening to soothing music and dimming the lights. Relaxing activities ease the transition to falling asleep.
- Get comfortable. Create a room that is ideal for sleeping.Cool, dark, and quiet are usually your best bet. Consider using room darkening shades and a fan. Comfortable pillows and a great mattress are key to getting a good night sleep.
- Limit daytime naps. Naps can interfere with nighttime sleep, especially if you struggle with insomnia or poor sleep quality. If you have to nap, limit yourself to 10 minutes mid-afternoon.
- Work Out. There is a correlation between exercise and good sleep. Exercise early in the day so you can fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep.
- Manage Stress. When your mind is racing because you have too much to do or think about, your sleep will suffer. Find healthy ways to manage your stress and restore peace in your day. Take up meditation. Get organized, set priorities, delegate tasks, and keep a list. Enjoy time with friends and family to relax.
Of course, it is common for people to have an occasional sleepless night, but if the problem persists, contact your physician. There may be an underlying reason you are not able to find better quality sleep.
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