A good night’s sleep is very beneficial, allowing your mind and body to relax and get the rest they both need. It allows you to get your day off to a good start, with energy and enthusiasm instead of dragging yourself off to your activity pumped full of caffeine. Unfortunately many people have occasional problems sleeping, and some have issues that are longer-term.
Sleep issues aren’t just a seasonal problem, such as changing clocks ahead or back, or how much light there is at beginning or end of the day. It’s estimated that over 60 million Americans suffer from short-term (a few days or weeks) or long-term (more than a month) insomnia. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means they are the symptom or side effect of some other problem.
You have likely heard the standard tips to help you sleep, such as avoiding caffeine, using room-darkening shades, and going to bed at the same time every night. Here are a few other helpful ideas that aren’t as well known.
Taking a nap during the day can be great for productivity and fabulous for health, but you’ve got to do it right. Aim to nap for 20 to 25 minutes. Nap longer than that and you’ll feel groggy when you wake up and you risk not being able to fall asleep when it’s bedtime.
Consider the temperature.
Take a warm (not hot) shower or bath about an hour before bedtime, and keep your room cool at night. The drop in body temperature signals your body to calm so you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
Turn off the electronics.
This is probably the most important and the least followed piece of advice.
Get an old fashioned alarm clock so you don’t need to use your phone. Turn off your phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever you’ve got, and put the devices in another room. Yes, a whole other room. You may think that a phone on silent, hanging out on your nightstand, won’t disturb your rest, but it will. Just knowing it’s there puts your body on alert. It’s far too tempting to reach over and ‘just check a few emails’ if you do wake up in the middle of the night. Save yourself and break this habit.
Get a massage
Oh, yeah! Massage can help with sleep issues. There have been several studies demonstrating how effective massage is in people with sleep problems, especially when treating secondary issues that may impair sleep, like back pain, pregnancy and migraines.
Make an appointment and get ready for a better night’s sleep.