Sleep like a baby? Try the following suggestions for better sleep ….
Experts have standard rules on what is known as sleep hygiene: The room should be cold but not too cold; it should be dark and quiet; and you should follow rituals that signal it is time for bed. Brushing one’s teeth, putting on pajamas and turning off the lights can be signals to the body that it’s time to secrete melatonin, the hormone that helps humans feel sleepy.
KEEP YOUR BEDROOM DARK AND QUIET. Use black-out shades, an eye mask, and ear plugs to shut out the world while your body sleeps.
FIND THE OFF SWITCH. Turn off the computers, tablets, televisions, and smartphones an hour before you go to bed. Studies show the artificial light coming from such devices can keep you awake and make it difficult to feel drowsy.
AVOID CAFFEINE AFTERNOON. Watch out for hidden sources of caffeine, such as medications, chocolate, and dessert drinks. Try green tea if you need a pick-me-up in the late afternoon because it only contains 20 mg of caffeine.
NO BOOZE BEFORE YOU SNOOZE. Don’t drink alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime. Alcohol keeps you from reaching the deep stages of sleep and dehydrates you, too. Many people who have cocktails after dinner complain of waking up in the middle of the night.
DON’T NAP. Napping regularly will disturb your sleep cycle. Avoid sleeping in the day. Keep to 8 hours a night and ideally nothing more.
CREATE A ROUTINE. Control your sleeping pattern. Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day, with few exceptions works best.
SLOW DOWN. Encourage everyone in your house (including yourself!) to start winding down at a reasonable hour by doing something relaxing, like reading a book, taking a bath, or having a warm mug of herbal tea. You’ll feel so much better the next morning.
Aptos Psychologist: Try reading the phone book sitting in a comfortable chair with a low light before you trundle off the bed.
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