In our previous post, we explored the importance of sleep and the health implications of chronic sleep deficiency. It’s more than simply the amount of time spent in bed. Having a good sleep is about:
- Sleeping enough
- Sleeping at the “right” times – the times that go along with our natural clock / circadian rhythm
- The type of sleep you are getting (REM vs non-REM)
- Quality of sleep (is there a sleep disorder affecting this)
Tips on Getting a Better Sleep
- Keep the same sleep schedule through the whole week (including weekends). Altering this significantly on weekends or days off can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm.
- The hour before bed should be quite time. Unplug from the phone, computer and TV. Avoid artificial light during this time. Avoid strenuous exercise during this time. While exercise in the day can be helpful to sleep, it taps into the SNS system, and we need to tap into the PSN for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine in the afternoon and evening. they are stimulants and can interfere with your sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before bed.
- Take a hot bath or shower before bed. Spend some time doing breathing exercises, journaling or meditation.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet.