Longterm Strategies to Get More Sleep
Do you need more ways to get to sleep? I hope you could stop already the habit of eating close to bedtime. It was an important part of this week’s clean eating challenge. Take it to the next level with my 3-Week action plan. This action plan is especially beneficial for you if you tend to be an emotional overeater who is triggered by sleep deprivation (tired eater).
Week 1: Create a Healthy Sleeping Environment
Roughly a third of our lives we spend in our bedrooms. So, it is not surprising that the state of our bedrooms affects the quality of sleep and stress levels. This week, try to turn your bedroom into a restorative retreat. Consider the following:
We sleep better in a well-aired, slightly cooler room. Keep your temperatures set somewhere between 60-68 degrees F (16-20 degrees Celsius)
Humidity levels in your bedroom should range between 30 and 50%, with the ideal hovering at 45%.
Ensure that your bedroom is dark enough and avoid bright light before bedtime. Darkness signals melatonin production in the body to help you sleep and maintain your circadian rhythm. Wear a sleep mask or get blackout curtains.
Comfortable bed & sleepwear:
Be sure your bed is comfortable. If your mattress is worn, invest in a new mattress that promotes a healthy sleep. Dress in sleepwear that is not too binding or loose
Get TV and other media out of your bedroom. Electronics with their glowing lights inhibits a good night’s rest.
Week 2: Follow the Basics of good sleep
After you have optimized your sleeping environment, follow these basic tips for getting good sleep:
- Stick to a regular bedtime and rising time
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
- Avoid caffeine, especially after mid-afternoon like coffee, black tea, coke.
- Avoid drinking liquids too close to bedtime as it might result in night time waking to urinate
- Omit alcohol late at night since it impairs the quality of sleep.
- Do not discuss serious problems right before bedtime
- Do not watch scary movies or read exciting books before bedtime
Are you still having a hard time to get restful sleep? The key here is to experiment. What works for you might not work as well for others. Try now and in future to find the sleeping strategies that work best for you. Here are some additional ideas:
• Taking a warm bath with sleep enhancing aromas can help you relax prior to bedtime. Besides relaxation, the feeling of warmth extends the deep sleep phase as fluctuations of the body temperature (hot flashes) influence sleep quality.
• Regular exercise for as little as 30 minutes a few times a week can improve sleep.
• Enjoy a sauna once a week
• Drink herbal teas with effective herbs for sleep and relaxation before bedtime (valerian, lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, passion flower)
• Increase the melatonin concentration in your body by eating melatonin rich foods throughout the day (tomatoes, oats, barley, bananas, ginger).
• Go to bed only if you are tired. It makes no sense going to bed earlier, only because you have to be especially rested the next day. Most people stay awake in their bed and have problems falling asleep.
Tell me your proven ways to get to sleep
What are your strategies for a better sleep? Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below.