Seven Secrets to More Restful Sleep

If you're not getting enough sleep, call the sleep specialists at Bon Secours Hospital for an appointment in our Sleep LabWhen was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and clear headed and ready to attack the day with vigor? If you’re feeling groggy during the day, your body is trying to tell you something about your sleep habits -or lack thereof. If you don’t listen now, you’ll risk far more serious health issues down the line.

Any disruption in your normal sleep cycle from a few minutes to several hours is considered a sleep disorder. You might not be getting enough sleep – or worse, you might not be getting enough deep, relaxing, restorative sleep. A good night’s sleep could mean as little as six hours to as many as nine each night depending on the person. Very few issues resolve on their own, so it’s important to address any disruptions early. Setting the right stage can help ensure a restful night and a healthier day.

Create the right environment
People tend to fall asleep when their body temperature drops and wake up when it rises. A programmable thermometer that drops the temperature when you go to bad and then slowly brings it back up when you wake will help you create a restful environment and save you money on heating/cooling bills!

Clear the Distractions
The book you haven’t finished, the bills that need attention and unfinished projects all have their place – as long as that place is not the bedroom. Keep your bedroom for sleeping.

Stick to a schedule
As much as we wish we could “catch up on sleep” on the weekends, it’s not possible. Sticking to a schedule, even on the weekends helps your body sleep and wake more effectively every day.

Take Time to Wind Down
Exercise, and the subsequent release of endorphins, is a wonderful way keep your body healthy and happy but it can also keep you awake. Exercise late in the afternoon to give your body time to unwind.

Eat Well, Sleep Well
Eating a big evening meal may make you feel drowsy but your digestive system going into overdrive may keep you awake later. Eat a healthy meal slowly and take time to enjoy your food. Stop when you feel full.

Put Your Glass Down
Drinking caffeinated sodas, coffee, tea and chocolate within six hours of bedtime can interrupt your sleep. Avoid alcohol – it may make you feel sleepy initially but will wake you up soon after falling asleep. Kick Your Own Butt: Nicotine has a stimulant effect. Quitting smoking will not only help you sleep better but you’ll live longer!

Take a Deep Breath
Try some relaxation exercises like deep breathing or progressive relaxation. If you’re worried about something make a to-do list and put it aside.

If you’ve created a solid sleep environment and are still having trouble sleeping, it’s time to get some assistance from our physicians. Any disruption in your normal sleep is an indicator of a sleep disorder – but with a little help we have you back to sleep in no time.

Learn more about our sleep center and some sleep disorders that may be keeping you up at night.

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