The month of May is Better Sleep Month
If you are like many people, you may feel that you never get enough sleep. Most people tend to keep busy schedules during the day and stay up too late at night. When the alarm clock rings in the morning, it’s hard to get out of bed! Other people suffer from insomnia and have trouble sleeping even when they are very tired.
This May, the Better Sleep Council is promoting Better Sleep Month. They are offering advice and tips on improving the quality of your sleep. Why is sleep so important? Getting good sleep is important for your overall health. Many people find that good sleep can improve their concentration, energy level, memory, emotional health, physical health, mood, creativity, and more.
How to improve your sleep
The Better Sleep Council explains that there are good sleep habits and bad sleep habits, all of which they refer to as your “sleep hygiene.” Here are some suggestions for improving your sleep hygiene.
- Be consistent with your bed time and waking time, including on weekends. This helps to set your body’s internal clock.
- Use lightness and darkness to cue your body. Get natural light during the daytime, and at night, sleep in a very dark room.
- Cut out naps if they are making it difficult to sleep at night.
- Before bed, create a relaxing routine. This might be reading, listening to quiet music, or doing yoga. This gives your body time to wind down after a busy day.
- Avoid worrisome thoughts or conversations at night time. Keep your mind on pleasant thoughts, and work through any stressful thoughts during your daytime hours. Or better yet, find ways to reduce your stress.
- Turn off your devices about an hour before bed. It is thought that back-lit devices can interrupt your body’s creation of melatonin, which is a chemical in your body that helps you relax.
- Don’t eat large meals before bedtime. You want your body to focus on sleeping, not digesting.
- Alcohol and nicotine can also interfere with your sleep, especially if you drink or smoke right before bedtime.
- Do your exercise during the day—not at night. Exercising at night can get your body too keyed up.
- Is noise interfering with your sleep? Try a white-noise machine or ear plugs.
- Check your mattress and pillows. If they aren’t comfortable, it may be time to replace them.
- If your partner keeps you awake with tossing and turning, try placing a body pillow between you.
With these suggestions in mind, you may be able to improve your sleep habits and enjoy a more well-rested and relaxing lifestyle. Once you get the hang of it, you will be amazed how much better you feel!
This article is courtesy of the Salter School, with campuses located in Malden and Fall River, Massachusetts. Our school trains the allied health professionals of tomorrow. We offer training programs in medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and massage therapy.