August 17, 2015

How to Get Better Sleep

I have been trying to get more restful and deep sleep. Its really been a challenge for me, but I am getting better.
Some nights, I sit up and the computer working on my artwork nodding off and trying to fight the need for sleep. Some nights I sit on the couch, watching tv, trying to catch a show and then I am out like a light and have missed what I wanted to watch. Then there are nights that I fall asleep perfectly fine, only to wake up at 4 am completely wide awake and ready for the day — the only problem is that I don’t need to start my day until 7:30, so that makes me minus 3 good hours that I had planned to sleep.

I have discovered that planning for a good nights sleep that night, starts in the afternoon.

1. Starting about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, stop the caffeine. I find that if I have a cup of coffee about 4 in the afternoon – I almost for sure will wake up at 3 am and toss and turn and not be able to go back to sleep.
If you need a pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon try fruit and protein. A small apple with some cheese. Or some berries with some nuts. These will actually give your body some fuel, without the caffeine high.

2. Drink lots of water during the day – but about an hour before bedtime start to limit your liquids. Only sip at some water. You don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The same can be said for food – obviously no big meals right before bed. Some people find they benefit from something light, like
half a banana. Limit alcohol too, it will keep you from sleeping deeply.

3. Also, sometime during the day, try to get some light exercise. At least 30 minutes of light walking. Or you can break it up into segments of 10 or 15 minutes each. Getting exercise will help your body rest easier.

4. About 2 hours before bedtime, I have a pleasant melodic alarm that goes off on my phone. This tells me it is time to start to mellow out. If I am doing something like washing the dishes, or cleaning, or working on the computer – the 2 hour alarm is my signal to “wrap it up”, finish what I am doing, and start to get ready for bed and mellow out. Sometimes I look at it and go “What? Its time already?” – because the evening has just flown by. Having an alarm go off has been a good tool for getting me to bed on time.

5. “They” say – whoever they are – to stop all electronic devices an hour before bedtime. No bright lights shining into your eyeballs. This is the time to lower all lights, and read a regular old-fashioned paper book. No TV either.
I have a rough time on this one, because I like to read books on my Kindle, and watching TV helps to lull me off to dreamland. But if I feel like relaxing, this can be a good time to flip throught fashion magazines and catalogues. Something light, and not too strenuous. I wish I could take this time to read something spiritual but that seems to get my brain working again.

5. Treat yourself to some comfy pillows and blankets. Don’t forget your mattress wears out after a 10 years. Have some nice photos on your night stand, or posters by your bed. Anything that will make your sleeping area a pleasant place for you to be. What temperature do you sleep better in ? I always sleep better with the window cracked open a bit, having air flowing around the room seems to make it easier for me to sleep.

6. And … take a trip to the Dentist. The Dentist ? Yup. I grind my teeth when I sleep. The dentist told me I needed a Night Guard. Its just a little plastic piece that fits over the bottom teeth. You will be saving your teeth, and your jaw muscles wont be all sore and stiff the next morning. The actual night guard will take a few nights getting used to, but believe me your jaw will feel so much better when you wake up the next morning.

Well, I hope some of these ideas lead you to a good restful nights sleep.

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Books on Amazon

Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

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No More Sleepless Nights

Health Journeys: A Meditation to Help You with Healthful Sleep

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More Sleep Items

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