Edited and published by Wellness Monster Dina
Getting better sleep helps me more in my daily life. Poor sleeping habits can make me cranky and lazy. Here are ways to get better sleep.
The glow from devices may cause poor sleep. Televisions, computers, tablets cellphones, and digital clocks give off a glow. Turn off or cover the devices, if necessary.
Limit naps to twenty minutes or less Nap at the beginning of the day.
Lie on the pillow correctly. The pillow should be the right size to support the neck.
Keep the mattress clean to avoid allergies. Seal the mattress to prevent allergies from dust mites and mold. Keeping the overall bedroom clean is good also. Clean the sheets and don’t let trash collect. Cleaning will keep out mice and other pests.
Use the bed only for sleep and sex. Don’t work, use the internet, or watch TV in bed.
Sleep in temperatures between sixty-eight and seventy-two degrees.
Have a body clock. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. A schedule helps me sleep better.
Avoid caffeine throughout the day. Chocolate and some pain relievers and weight loss pills have caffeine.
Don’t exercise hours before bedtime. Exercise before bedtime just causes too much energy. Slow exercises like yoga or tai chi are good before bedtime.
Don’t eat too much food at night. That’s too much for the digestive system, and it affects sleep. Eat a small snack instead; don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.
Avoid alcohol before bedtime. Drink warm tea or chamomile tea instead.
Don’t drink anything in the last couple of hours before bedtime to avoid getting up and going to the bathroom during the night.
Lower the lights a few hours before bedtime. Lowering them helps the body to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Sometimes, noises can get in the way of a good sleep such as someone’s snoring. Fans, air conditioners, a white noise machine, room-darkening shades, or ear plugs may help. Fans and air conditioners also helps keep the room cooler which makes me sleep better.
There are ways to cope with sleeping when it’s hot or cold. When it’s hot, drink water, eat light meals, and put bedding in the freezer thirty minutes before bedtime. Also, keep a damp cloth by the bed to wipe the face, hands, and feet. Use ice packs for the head or neck or use a spray bottle to refresh. Flip the pillow to the cool side.
When it’s cold, do light exercises before bed, drink hot water or herbal tea, and have a warm shower or bath. Wear layers of sleepwear, long johns, flannel shirts, and long sleeve shirts and sweaters. Layers can be taken off as it warms up. Keep wool blankets and down comforters around. Down sleeping bags are good too. Make sure to cover the feet as they get coldest first on the body. Get an electric blanket or heated mattress pad. Don’t use both at the same time, and be careful of the cords. Use a hot water bottle, and keep it by the feet. Wear wool socks. Wool is best for retaining warmth. Use body heat from a partner or pet.
Block drafts in the room. Drafts are spaces in doors, windows, and floors. Block drafts with blankets and pillows.
Like caffeine, tobacco is a stimulant. Smoking may cause insomnia.
An overactive mind can derail sleep. I’m guilty of this, having too many thoughts that prevent sleep. Writing everything down and putting it aside may help. Personally, I like to read or pray before sleeping. Mediating, listening to gentle music, taking a bath, or putting on lotion before bed may help.
I sometimes do deep breathing and muscle relaxation to get to sleep. Deep breathing is closing the eyes and taking slow, deep breaths. Muscle relaxation is tensing different muscles in the body from the head to the toes then relaxing them.
Be careful with sleeping pills. Ask the doctor what to take. Take sleeping pills for long flights. Use antihistamine products with no extra ingredients only for a day or two
Make sure to have a supportive mattress and good pillows. Don’t keep a mattress over ten years.
Thirty-five to forty minutes before bedtime, take four hundred milligrams of a magnesium supplement. Magnesium can help sleep come faster. This can bought in a pharmacy’s vitamin section.
Sleep nude. The Cleveland Sleep Clinic said sleeping naked helps to control the body’s temperature. Sleep with the arms and head out from under the blankets. Pajamas should be loose with breathable fabric.
Older people need as much sleep as younger people, generally seven to nine hours.
If insomnia persists over a month, see a doctor. A health problem or medication may be causes.
A doctor may recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy. This tries to change poor sleeping habits. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine endorses this over medication. There are also online programs.
A sleep study may be necessary. Polysomnography monitors a person’s sleeping habits. This happens at a sleep clinic or a hospital’s sleep disorders unit. This involves wearing sensors on the scalp, temples, chest, legs, and a small clip on the finger or ear. A computer will monitor the brain waves, eye movements, heart rate, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen levels. This can help people who snore or have daytime sleepiness, exhibit odd movements at night, or can’t be cured with medical help. A sleep study detects obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Untreated OSA increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. Around twenty-nine million Americans have OSA, and almost eighty percent have not been diagnosed. There is a home test for OSA. It involves wearing a monitoring belt around the stomach, a clip on the finger, and an airflow sensor under the nose. This is for OSA that is moderate to severe.
Treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. A mask attached to a pump blows air into the throat to keep the air passage open. Weight loss, no alcohol before bedtime, and sleeping on the side is good for this. Other sleep disorders include narcolepsy(daytime sleepiness) and sleepwalking.
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