Are you getting enough sleep?
How much sleep do you get each night? Do you feel rested in the morning? If not, you may be one of the many Americans who say they would feel better if they could get more sleep. The Better Sleep Council has designated May as Better Sleep Month, and offers tips and suggestions for how to improve the quality of your sleep.
Getting good sleep can make a big impact on your life. Many people find that good, quality sleep can help improve your:
- Physical health
- Emotional Health
If you have fallen into a pattern of poor sleeping, you may feel like you’ll never catch up on your sleep. But don’t worry! There are ways to develop new habits and improve your sleep hygiene. If you are looking for ways to improve your sleep, try these tips. We think they will make a noticeable difference in how you feel. You may even wake up feeling like a new person!
- Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day—including weekends. This helps keep your internal clock consistent.
- Don't nap if it interferes with your night time sleep.
- Cue your body with light—get natural light during the day, and keep your room as dark as possible when you go to bed. Room darkening shades can help.
- Create a bedtime routine that is relaxing, such as meditating, listening to quiet music, reading, or yoga.
- Stay away from stressful thoughts or conversations in the hour before bedtime.
- Avoid back-lit devices and TVs in the hour before bed. Scientists believe these lights can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a chemical that helps you relax and sleep.
- Get adequate exercise—but make sure you don’t exercise right before bed, since that may rev you up too much.
- Avoid eating large meals right before bedtime—and avoid alcohol and nicotine before bed too. All of these can interfere with a good nights’ sleep.
- Try to reduce the stress in your life. Stress management techniques can help you get your stress under control.
- Evaluate your mattress and your pillow—are they as comfortable as they should be? If not, consider investing in new ones.
- If your partner is interfering with your sleep, try earplugs, placing a body pillow between you, or using two separate blankets.
All of these techniques are considered part of your “sleep hygiene.” Structuring your life in support of good sleep hygiene is important! Just like personal hygiene, you need to make an effort to take care of your body’s sleep needs. Once you establish a good routine, your body will thank you for it!
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health in Manchester, NH offers weekly blog articles to encourage good habits among our students, staff, and the public. If you are interested in enrolling in a nursing assistant or practical nurse training program, contact us online for more info.