Did you check out the article in the June 8th Newsletter about sleep and how important it is? It offered some suggestions for people having trouble sleeping. Here they are again with some additional commentary that I may have added.
- Avoid caffeine in beverages and chocolate in late afternoon and evening…unless you find TV programming at 3 AM to be particularly stimulating and thought provoking.
- Nicotine and alcohol can impede your sleep. In fact, a study in California found that for fatal automobile accidents from midnight to 3 AM, 66% of them involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Drink less, sleep more!
- Physical activity during the day improves your chances for a good night’s sleep. Try not to exercise right before you go to bed if it takes you a while to relax after exercising. More research is pointing to the fact that the time you exercise isn’t as important; physical activity is good whenever you can fit it into your day. Here’s an article about that very idea.
- After eating a big meal, you need to wait several hours for your food to digest before going to bed. The phrase “food coma” is just that: a phrase!
- It is important to get up and to go to bed at the same time every day. Keep a regular pattern even on weekends. Think: small children up past their bedtime.
- A cool dark room is ideal for sleeping.
- If you are thinking about things you need to do tomorrow, get out of bed, make a to-do-list and then put it out of your mind. Better yet, keep a pad and pen on the nightstand so you don’t even have to get out of bed.
- If pain is interrupting your sleep, talk with your health care professional.
- Perhaps some of the prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs you are taking is causing sleep problems. Ask your health care professional…and be sure to tell them about all your medications.
- Try taking a warm bath about 90 minutes before going to bed. It will lower your body temperature and help you relax. Father’s Day is close, so you might consider giving a tired dad the gift of a nice soak in the tub.
- If you rely on taking a sleeping pill every night, talk to your health care professional about other options for you to explore.
Get some rest. You not only need it, you deserve it!