Are you waking up rejuvenated, refreshed and ready for the day? Try these things to sleep better tonight and feel better when you wake up.
If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, you’re certainly not alone.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 30% of adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Inadequate sleep can hinder your health, weight loss goals and productivity, so it’s definitely something to work on.
Did you know?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chronic diseases were responsible for five of the six leading causes of death in the United States in 2006. Of the leading causes of death in the United States nearly 80 percent could have been prevented if a healthy lifestyle was followed.
And, yes, consistently getting enough sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle.
So, what exactly is sleep deprivation?
According to the American Sleep Association, sleep deprivation is defined as obtaining inadequate total sleep. When someone is in a chronic sleep-restricted state they’ll notice the affects throughout the day, go to sleep, and repeat.
What are possible effects of sleep deprivation?
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Accidents from lack of attention
- Risk of diabetes
- Adversely affects the brain and cognitive functioning
- Deficits in working memory and attention
- Decreased productivity
- Deficits in cognitive functioning
The good news is you can break the chronic sleep deprivation cycle.
If you make ‘getting more sleep’ a priority, you may see some changes. It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you, so if after a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may just take some time for your body to adjust.
First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed. For example, if you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00. This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30.
Try a couple of strategies at a time and note which ones seem helpful.
Note: If these simple solutions don’t work for you, be sure to check with your doctor to see if they can find the root cause. A functional medical practitioner or naturopathic doctor may be able to find a good natural solution for you.
Here is a list of 17 things you can do to establish healthy sleep habits:
- Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep)
- Don’t consume chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime
- Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
- Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
- Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening
- Sleep in a totally dark room (all sources of light off) or wear eye covers
- Set your bedroom at a comfortable temperature
- Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)
- Use soothing essential oils in a bath and/or diffuser
- Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down
- Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation
- White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan
- Relax and read before bed
- Yoga or Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress
- Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details so you can relax)
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule
- Reduce fluid intake before bedtime
- Bonus tip, complete a sleep journal (provided in the download) for 7 days
The magic number of sleep hours varies a bit for each of us, but you know when you’re sleep deprived. If we go too long in “sleep deficit” mode many aspects of our lives may suffer.
The National Sleep Foundation provides the following guidelines, including a minimum and maximum range, as a “rule of thumb” to consider with regards to how much sleep you need.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation .
Recommendations for daily sleep durations:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
- School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Getting enough sleep can help create a resistance to stress related illnesses and immune function, helps you start the day feeling refreshed and invigorated, and helps reduce the feelings of stress.
Getting enough sleep helps your body perform and enables you to maximize your workout. Track how many hours of sleep you get each night for 5-7 days along with details of how you felt when you woke up, energy level throughout the day, etc.
Sufficient sleep is important for your health, well-being and happiness. When you sleep better, you feel better. The sleep journal will help you track your sleep, allowing you to see habits and trends that are helping you sleep or that can be improved.
How To Use the Sleep Journal
The sleep journal only takes a few minutes each day to complete.
- Download and make enough copies to complete the AM and PM journal for 7 days.
- Review your completed journal to see if there are any patterns or practices that are helping or hindering your sleep. Is your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep? Or are there too many distractions? Did your nap interfere with a good night’s sleep?
- Make incremental changes. Changing one habit at a time can set you on the path to healthy sleep.
The Center for Disease Control reported that chronic diseases were responsible for five of the six leading causes of death in the United States in 2006. Of the leading causes of death in the United States nearly 80 percent could have been prevented if a healthy lifestyle was followed.
The choices you make each and every day to support your health and wellness rests in your hands.