As human beings we spend a huge amount of our lives sleeping, which is why it is so frustrating when we struggle with sleep-related issues. Whether it is insomnia or sleep apnea, struggles with sleep can impact our lives in many ways. However, there are a few simple steps we can take to help increase our chances of a good sleep.
- Try and develop a nighttime routine and stick to it as much as possible. Nothing helps insomnia more than having a regular bedtime and not letting that second wind of energy hit you.
- Avoid caffeine whenever possible especially late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant so it is great to get you out the door in the morning but may make it harder to calm down and get to sleep at night.
- Avoid blue light before sleeping. Watching our favorite show before trying to sleep may seem like a relaxing activity but it’s actually the reverse. Studies have shown particularly the blue light of handheld electronics stimulates the brain making it harder to sleep.
- Have overall good health. It probably goes without saying that a person who exercises regularly and eats right is more likely to have better health including in their sleep health
- Take a sleep apnea study. The only way to prevent sleep apnea is to first know how it is impacting our sleep. A simple sleep study from your doctor may be a good way to go and may arm you with knowledge. You may need to get a sleep apnea mask that helps you to be able to breathe freely.
- Use sleep medication as little as possible. Especially when a lack of sleep is getting very stressful it can be tempting to take medication; however, this should be a last resort as the effectiveness of these drugs wears off quickly and can become habbit-forming.
So there are some ideas for how to improve your sleep health. Let us know what works for you. There are many different strategies including meditation, calming essential oils and melatonin. Sleep is such a personal experience that it is key we find what is helpful for our unique bodies. Who knows? Maybe counting sheep is just what you need!