With everything we’re going through, sleep is more important than ever. There are psychologists and physicians who specialize in sleep, and there are numerous excellent books and articles on sleeping well. Some simple steps, to begin with, may include:
- Set up a routine and stick to it. Try to go to bed and get up as close to the same time as you can daily.
- Avoid high-energy or caffeinated drinks in the evenings.
- Consider getting your protein during the day and save the high carb or sweet items till the evening.
- If you need 8 hours, say 11 PM to 7 AM, but if you didn’t fall asleep until 6 AM get up at 7. You may regret it at first.
- People differ in the amount of sleep they need to function well. Learn to understand what you need.
- Avoid naps.
- Aim for a ‘’speedup’’ and a “slow down” cycle in your day. For example, your speed-up time may be from 1 PM to 4 PM. It may be that you are still in high gear in the late afternoon, say 4 to 6 PM. This is a great time for exercise.
- Start to wind down. Have supper. Read a good book. Avoid the news.
- Avoid ‘’Blue Lights,’’ ie computers, videos, etc. for at least one hour before bed.
- ONLY read in bed (there is one exception ;). No TV or reading. You want your head on the pillow to be a cue for sleep. Through repetition, condition yourself that when you turn the light out and put your head on the pillow, it’s time to go to sleep. Make it a reflex.
- If you don’t fall asleep within the next hour or so, get up. Go sit in a boring place. No TV or comic books. Pretty soon bed looks good.
- If your “noisy brain” is the problem, well before bed, sit down and write out your issues. Pick out those you can take some immediate action on and do it. If there is an action to be taken later, list it. If no action can be taken, remind yourself, then practice tuning it out.
NOTE: There may be many causes of sleep disorders or insomnia. Some of these are related to serious medical issues. If your sleep problems are severe or prolonged, please consult with your medical provider.