4 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Did you sleep well last night? If your answer is, “not really”, then you may want to examine your bedtime routine for behaviors that could be the reason why.

While the benefits of sleep may seem obvious, it really pays to understand the full value that sleep adds to overall health. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School reports that, “sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.” They add that, sleep deprivation and loss often leads to impaired learning and job performance, which in turn can cause long-term negative effects.

The truth is that we all will experience trouble sleeping at some point in our lives, but it is important to know that we can reduce the frequency of poor sleep by changing our pre-bedtime routine.

Chip Werner, Conditioning Coach & Owner of Starting Line Health & Fitness, in Rochester Hills MI, recommends the following tips for eliminating external factors that could be imposing on your good night’s sleep:

  • Decrease behaviors that may be keeping you from getting adequate sleep.
    • Caffeinated beverages, going to bed anxious or stimulated, or sleeping in too late in the day
  • Increase behaviors that will help you sleep better.
    • Making your bedroom more comfortable
    • Creating bedtime rituals and routines.
  • Avoid stimulation at least an hour before bedtime
    • Computer, Television, Games, etc.
  • Lower the room temperature and gradually dim lights before going to bed.

Taking steps to prepare an environment for restful sleep may be what you need to get past counting sheep on to catching z’s. We recommend trying a few of these suggestions and keeping a sleep journal to document your progress. If there are things on your mind that are keeping you awake, try writing those thoughts down on paper and resolving to only revisit them in the morning after you have rested your mind, body & soul. Remember that sleep is your body’s first line of defense.

If you’re looking for ways you can help yourself sleep better as well, check out these other blogs:

Photo credit: rachel CALAMUSA

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