Sleeping Tips and Techniques
We all know and understand that sleep is essential in order to function in our day-to-day lives. When our sleep becomes disrupted, especially if it is disrupted regularly and over a long period of time, our mood and overall well-being is drastically affected. Our quality of life decreases, our ability to perform duties and responsibilities effectively is compromised, and our physical health suffers.
But getting quality sleep may be easier said than done. Often, our lifestyles lead to stress, tension, overbooked schedules, increased responsibilities and not enough time to dedicate to resting our bodies and minds. During these times, it is helpful to remember a few important tips for good nighttime sleep and napping techniques.
Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Caffeine can keep you awake! Many believe caffeine doesn’t affect their sleep patterns, but research has shown that consumption of caffeine stays in your body longer than most think—up to 14 hours! Cutting caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.
Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it causes disturbances in sleep late in the night which results in less restful sleep.
Relax before bed
Stress is the enemy of sleep. Try to develop a pre-sleep ritual that breaks the connection between the day’s stress and bedtime. A hot bath before bed, light reading, meditating, aromatherapy or light stretching can help you fall asleep.
Don’t watch the clock
Clock watching” is a habit that can disrupt sleep. Many people are almost addicted to knowing the time and find themselves waking up just to check the clock, often times at the exact time each night. Turn your clock away from the bed when you sleep.
Regular exercise can help with sleep but refrain from exercising in the evening. Exercise is best in the early morning or afternoon hours. Even a moderate amount of exercise or physical activity on a daily or semi-daily basis can help to greatly reduce stress and tension helping the body to function properly and in turn helping achieve a sounder night’s sleep.
Make your bedroom a place of comfort and relaxation
Keep your bedroom dark and comfortable. For many, even the slightest noise or dim light can disrupt sleep. In today’s digital age, we are tempted to watch our televisions, work on our computers and communicate with our mobile phones while in the bedroom. Consider powering off devices within the hours leading to bedtime, as electronics often contribute to brain stimulation and hinder the body’s ability to achieve relaxation. The ideal room temperature is typically 68 to 72 degrees.
Avoid going to bed hungry but don’t eat a heavy meal before bed. Digesting a heavy meal late in the evening can make you uncomfortable and your sleep patterns can be interrupted. For example, you can enjoy a small glass of milk and a small portion of oatmeal with walnuts for a satisfying snack that really does help you enjoy better sleep!
When you do not achieve a full night’s rest, or for those times when a midday rest is essential, here are a few tips for effective napping:
- Nap for the right amount of time. Studies have shown that an effective length of time for a nap is about 20-30 minutes. Any shorter and your body may not achieve a state of rest, and any longer may result in grogginess. A nap timed properly can help restore energy levels, increase alertness and rejuvenate the mind and body.
- Nap comfortably. We tend to sleep more soundly and effectively in a relaxed, dark and quiet environment. If you choose to nap, try to make your surroundings as serene as possible and reduce distractions that will keep you from resting.
- Properly time your napping. Avoid napping too late in the day, as this might affect your nighttime sleep patterns and make it difficult to fall asleep at your regular bedtime. Avoid napping too early in the day, or your body may not be ready for more sleep.
If napping and proper sleep hygiene have not improved your ability to rest fully, the Fisher-Titus Sleep Center can help. Contact our highly trained and experienced staff today for the effective diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders to help you achieve the rest that you need.
Our Sleep Center serves patients throughout Erie and Huron counties, including Amherst, Ashland, Attica, Bellevue, Berlin Heights, Castalia, Clyde, Collins, Fremont, Greenwich, Huron, Milan, Monroeville, New Haven, New London, New Washington, North Fairfield, Norwalk, Nova, Oberlin, Plymouth, Port Clinton, Sandusky, Shelby, Shiloh, Tiffin, Tiro, Vermilion, Wakeman, Wellington, Willard and the surrounding communities. Call us today to learn more!