We all experience insomnia from time to time.[Insomnia Treatment]
But with new research showing that poor quality sleep can be more dangerous than we realized, we can all take steps to make sure we get enough sleep and that the sleep we do get is restful.
Here are some ways to improve your chances of having a good night sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet, but avoid eating just before bedtime. If heartburn is a problem, avoid having spicy or fatty foods at dinner.
- Exercise regularly, but not within three hours of bedtime, when it could energize you.
- Drink plenty of caffeine free liquids, but not near bedtime so you can avoid those middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. Avoid caffeine in the hours before bedtime; it can take up to 8 hours for your body to process and eliminate caffeine.
- One more reason not to smoke: nicotine is a stimulant and can make it harder for you to sleep.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule, even when you’re not working.
You should also set your bedroom for a good night sleep.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable by choosing a mattress and pillow that are comfortable for you. Make sure you have plenty of room if you share your bed with someone.
- The ideal sleep space is dark and cool. Blackout curtains or eye masks can help you achieve darkness. You’ll sleep better in a room that is slightly cool. Add an extra blanket if needed.
- Your bedroom should be quiet or have a soothing noise. A humidifier, fan, ambient sound or white noise machine can create soothing noise.
- A regular evening routine (bath, reading or music, then lights out, for example) can help your body learn when it’s time to go to sleep.
If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor to rule out possible sleep disorders or other physical problems that could be interfering with your sleep.