Saturday, March 5, 2016

Did You Know? Sleep Awareness Week

March 6th through the 12th is sleep awareness week?

The following tips can be implemented in your routine and may improve sleep quality.
  • Incorporate exercise into your life. Regular exercise can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, you want to avoid exercising within three hours of when you plan to fall asleep.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule. Try to wake up and go to bed around the same time each day (even on the weekends).
  • Avoid caffeine and foods/drinks with a lot of sugar close to bedtime as these substances can make falling asleep more difficult.
  • Avoid watching television in bed and do not read for an extended period of time in bed. You want to associate your bed with sleeping and not other activities.
  • Develop a bedtime routine such as taking a warm bath, engaging in relaxation or meditation activities, or listening to calming music. These activities can help your body get ready for sleep.
  • Make your bedroom a dark, quiet, cool place and make your bed as comfortable as possible. Consider putting up blinds or curtains if a lot of light gets in your room at night. 
  • Avoid exposure to bright light during the time right before you go to bed as light signals to your brain that it is time to be awake and not sleeping. You may also find fans or other sound machines to be helpful in reducing noise that is inconsistent with sleeping.
  • Avoid napping throughout the day and avoid large meals before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol prior to bedtime as it can reduce the quality of your sleep.
There are several websites that provide additional information on sleep hygiene and improving the quality of your sleep. Some helpful websites are listed below. Also, remember you can consult with your doctor if you have concerns about your sleep.