Vol.1, No.4

How to sleep better

Read this article to learn some ways that you can get a good night's sleep tonight!

Tips for sleeping
Photo Credit: Brennan Wesley
Sleep is supposed to be a third of our daily activities. A twenty four hour day equals eight hours for recreation, eight hours for working, and eight hours for sleeping. But for millions of Americans, getting seven to eight hours of sleep every day or night is nearly impossible. So, since sleeping is a natural occurrence, what keeps most people awake? The most common reasons range from stress and worries to aches and pains throughout the body.

If you're one of the millions of Americans that wants to sleep better, there are a host of things that you can do to relax and prepare your body for a good night's slumber:

1. Check your mattress to see if it's comfortable and the right size for you. Mattresses that are too soft can cause back, leg, and other body aches. As long as your mattress is in good condition otherwise, you can slide a sheet of plywood underneath it for added support.

If your mattress is too small so that it doesn't allow you to stretch out and get comfortable, you may consider investing in a full, queen, or king size.

2. Take a good look at your bedroom too. It is comfortable, relaxing, and does it help to induce sleep? Is there too much light coming through the windows? Close the curtains or install blinds so you can adjust the amount of light. Or, is the room to dark? Buy a night light or a small lamp and use them at night to help brighten up your bedroom so it's more comfortable.

If your bedroom is too warm, turn down the thermostat a few degrees, or try opening a window or setting up a fan. Or, if it's too cold, try adding another blanket to your bed, turning up the heat, or

buying a portable heater.

3. Avoid eating and ingesting caffeine and other stimulants in the evening hours. The experts recommend that we shouldn't eat within three hours of going to bed. This is especially true for eating spicy, greasy, or rich foods. These foods can often cause stomach distress that keeps us up at night!

When you think of "caffeine", you probably only think of coffee. But this stimulant is also found in hot and cold teas, soda pop, health drinks, chocolate, and other foods and drinks. So, you should not only avoid drinking coffee before bedtime, but other sources of caffeine too.

A bonus about avoiding caffeinated drinks is that you won't find yourself making several trips to the bathroom too!

4. Keep your schedule in tune with your biological clock. Human beings are creatures of habit. And, once we get our bodies used to doing the same thing at a certain time, it becomes a habit. Our bedtimes should be a habit too. This way, our body knows that at a certain time that it should relax, unwind, and fall asleep.

To help keep your biological clock on the right track, you should try to get up at the same time every day too.

5. To help your brain unwind at bedtime, read a book, take a hot bubble bath, or perform so Yoga or other light exercise. If you have stress and worries, try to resolve them before you go to bed. If that's not possible, then try to put them in the back of your mind until morning.

Some people actually try using this trick for forgetting their worries at night. It might sound strange, but it does work!

Pretend that all of your worries, cares, troubles and stress are objects. In your mind, pretend that you have placed all of these objects into a bag. Now, visualize that you have taken the bag and hung it outside your front door on a tall tree limb. Remember, you can't get to the bag until morning. So, why should you try to take the worries and cares out of it tonight? You might as well forget about them tonight and go to sleep instead!