PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S REST
By Dr. Deirdre Lyons
We all know the benefits of a good night’s sleep. The effects of poor sleeping habits can be felt on your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Here are some tips for getting the most from your sleep.
- Stick to a schedule: Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. The body has a natural clock which will make you sleepy when you are ready for bed. Try not to ignore this. Going to bed too early or too late may result in disturbed sleep.
- Make your bedroom as restful as possible: Your bedroom should be cool, keeping noises and outside light to a minimum. Mobile phones, tablets, Netflix, computers, televisions, and other electronic devices should not be used if you are having difficulty sleep.
- Avoid caffeine for 7 hours before bed: Coffee and tea (including green tea) are the obvious caffeine culprits, but colas and other soft drinks also contain caffeine. Caffeine has a body life of up to 7 hours after ingestion. Remember this before you reach for the kettle.
- If you are awake then get up. This is the most important part of this protocol. You can’t force yourself to sleep. If you do not fall asleep in a reasonable time, 20-30 minutes maximum, then get up and leave your bedroom. Don’t watch T.V or read, just sit in a comfortable chair. When you are tired, go back to bed. This helps your mind and your body to associate the bedroom with drowsiness and sleep.
- Don’t look at the clock. Clocks with bright numbers are a distraction and obsessing over time will just make it more difficult to sleep.