If you’re just joining us for the Sleep Hygiene Challenge, I’d like to strongly encourage you to go back and print my blog and answer the sleep assessment questions to help determine what might be keeping you awake.
Now that you’ve done the sleep assessment, you’re ready to start making corrections and begin enjoying restful sleep.
12 Tips to Enjoy Restful Sleep
Sometimes, solving a sleep problem is as simple as changing the temperature in your bedroom or choosing a different bedtime routine.
For a better night’s sleep, give these 12 tips a try:
- Keep it dark. Eliminate all light by using room-darkening shades and a non-lighted alarm clock, and wear an eye mask.
- Stay on schedule. Waking up and going to rest at varying times can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Try to stay on a regular schedule and avoid daytime naps.
- Power down. Shut off the computer, TV, and other electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.
- Soak in a bath. Sprinkle lavender oil in the water to relax you half an hour before bed.
- Block out noise. Keep your room quiet or use ear plugs.
- Be still. Avoid strenuous exercise at least three hours before going to bed. Intense exercise increases blood flow to the brain and can be over stimulating.
- Relax. Listen to guided meditation, soothing music, or guided hypnosis on your iPod or other mobile device.
- Turn on white noise. A fan, soft music, or a white-noise machine can create just enough sound to lull your busy brain to rest.
- Enjoy a soothing tonic. Increase levels of the sleep-regulating hormone serotonin with chamomile tea or warm almond milk with a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of cocoa powder, and few drops of chocolate-flavored stevia.
- Make love. Having an orgasm helps create a feeling of overall well-being, and bonding with your partner helps decrease anxiety and stress.
- Write it down. Keep a pen and paper next to your bed, and if your racing mind wakes you up, write down your thoughts for next-day consideration.
- Find the right supplements. I have found that time-release melatonin with valerian root and magnesium work like magic. Many people I know find 5HTP, GABA and inositol to also be very helpful.