Daylight saving time is a great time to reset your sleep habits, as well as your clock.
If you have trouble sleeping, try following these sleep tips:
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day. Also, avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep. This will strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may be helpful to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime ritual. Take a warm bath or listen to calming music.
- Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes. A short nap of 20 to 30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.
- Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. While alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.
- Exercise. As little as ten minutes of simple aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, may dramatically improve nighttime sleep quality.
- Avoid food that can be disruptive right before sleep. Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion and/or heartburn that disrupt sleep.
- Be comfortable. Create a sleep environment that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Avoid bright or LED light from lamps, cell phones or other devices, and TV screens. The blue lightthat LED screens give off can slow or halt the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals our brain that it’s time for bed.
If these steps don’t help, ask your doctor or health provider if a sleep study to diagnose your sleep problems is right for you.
*Source: National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org
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