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Can't Sleep? Here are six tips to help you fall asleep...

May 16, 2016

 

 

If you can't sleep, you're not alone - according to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 30-35% of folks have occasional trouble falling asleep.  For most people, this is a temporary situation and with some good sleep hygiene, you can make your sleep easier to obtain.

 

 

  1. Create a restful space for sleep. This means a dark, cool room, with enough covers to keep you warm but not hot.  Your body temperature needs to lower by about two degrees Fahrenheit to sleep.  A cool room will help lower your body temperature.  Also, darkness and no screen use in the bedroom - simulate night as much as you can.

  2. Avoid stimulants too close to bedtime.  Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, etc. are best avoided a  couple of hours before bed.  While alcohol seems counter-intuitive, it's true: while the booze may help you fall asleep, as your body metabolizes it, your sleep will be disrupted later in the night.  Also, chocolate contains caffeine.

  3. Try to eat no fewer than three hours before sleep - digestion takes a lot of energy, so let as much of it happen ahead of sleep as you can.  Avoiding spicy foods or under-cooked onions or garlic can also help avoid indigestion, especially as people get older.

  4. Exercise is good to promote sleep.  Your heavier workouts should be undertaken in the morning or afternoon, while light exercise like gentle stretching or easy yoga can help before sleep. 

  5. Associate your bed with sleep.  Your phone, laptop, TV, tablet should be used outside of the bedroom - if you can avoid using these devices at least an hour before sleep, you'll help your mind calm and relax and gear down for sleep.

  6. Get as much natural light as you can.  This is especially for older people who might be indoors more than younger folks, but if you can be outside during the "golden hour" before sunset, you'll start to gear your brain to wind down.

Make these tips a habit, and you'll have an easier time falling asleep regularly!

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