Sleeping can be challenging during stressful times and as we get older. I struggled with sleep for decades before making a few simple changes to my behavior, and now I sleep like a rock for 9 hours a night!
1. Don’t drink alcohol! As soon as I stopped drinking alcohol in the evening (I still have the occasional glass of red wine for dinner), my sleep improved DRASTICALLY. It turns out alcohol may disrupt melatonin release, and as a result, you wake up after only a few hours. A drink may make you feel drowsy and push you into sleep in the beginning; it won’t last! Ditch the booze if you are having trouble sleeping.
2. Stop eating by 7 pm – no snacking during the night. You don’t want to be digesting food while you are sleeping. This can keep you up. Having a few hours between your last meal of the day and going to sleep will prep your body for a good night’s sleep!
3. Turn off all devices 30 minutes before bedtime – electronic blue light disrupts sleep. Read something pleasant in print form (no devices).
4. Take 5 minutes before getting into bed to do some basic stretches. Stretching and yawning will help to induce falling asleep.
5. Make sure your room is well ventilated, dark, and quiet. We keep our room around 60 degrees when sleeping, and I use a fan for white noise every night. Give it a try!
A good night’s sleep is available to almost everyone if we pay attention to our natural cycles of life and adding a few simple behavior modifications.