Here is my list of 11 Tips for Better Sleep. These tips were recently featured in the new book, Thriving at Work, authored by Gina DeLapa. Her newest book is available at www.ultimatereminders.com.
1. Limit use of electronic devices one to two hours before bed. Electronic devices stimulate the brain, which needs a chance to shut off and time to ramp down.
2. Allow your entire body time to ramp down. Starting one to two hours before bed, limit your activity.
3. Avoid eating and drinking close to bedtime. At least six hours before bed, stop drinking beverages with caffeine.
4. Create a clean, healthy sleep environment. Make sure your body is clean, as well as your sheets. A warm bath or shower is a great way to relax and wind down before bed.
5. Keep a notepad on your nightstand. Writing things down helps turn off your brain. Trying to remember details of your day doesn’t give the brain the time it needs to relax.
6. Create a dark sleep environment. Keep the shades drawn to minimize your exposure to light. Even with your eyes closed, you can still perceive light – and this could make it harder to get the deep, restorative sleep you need.
7. Naps are not a four-letter word. Take a 15- to 30-minute nap to recharge and reset. Avoid long naps, which can disrupt your sleep cycle.
8. Control your bedroom’s microclimate. Keep the air in the mid- to upper-60s or low 70s and try to control humidity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal humidity range is from 30 to 50 percent.
9. Don’t turn your bedroom into an office. You need to associate the bedroom with slumber. If it’s used as an office, the brain gets reactivated.
10. Keep your schedule consistent. Even on weekends, stay within an hour or so of your normal wake-up time. When your sleep schedule is off, it can take days to reset it. The more you stick to a consistent sleep schedule, the more refreshed you will be in the morning.
11. Don’t hit the snooze button! You won’t wake up more rested. In fact, you will only feel worse. Challenge yourself to get up and stay up. Believe it or not, you will feel better!