It always happens that the nights that you need sleep the most, you find yourself awake and staring at the wall. So what do you do to ensure that you get those much needed hours of shut-eye? Dr. Eric Olson of the Cleveland Clinic and the co-director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Harneet Walia, suggest these great tips to get to dreamland faster:
Get out of bed when you aren’t sleeping:
You don’t want to train yourself not to sleep in your bed. If you aren’t able to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes, go into another room and do relaxing activities to ease your mind such as read a book, listen to music or take a bath. Just remember to fight the temptation to pick up your cell phone or watch TV.
Practice yoga or meditate:
Look into relaxation techniques that will calm you. You can really unwind by focusing on the rise and fall of your breath, parts of your body and getting into with yourself.
Let go of anxieties:
Stress can send your brain into overdrive with thoughts of meetings, bills and things on your to-do list. Keep a journal to write a few sentences of what’s on your mind with possible solutions before your bedtime. Put them away and set a time the next day to revisit them.
Keep your eyes off the clock:
A common problem is the awareness that you need to be asleep. The frustration can escalate as you watch the clock and keep counting down until morning. Fight this temptation by turning over or turning your clock away from you.
Be careful with sleep aids:
Sleep medication should never be a first choice, but if you do opt to go down that road, make sure you use them with caution. You want to give the medication enough time to wear off, so never take them too close to morning. Sleepiness is great at 10:30 pm, but it’s a different story at 7 am!
Be aware of sleep hygiene throughout the day:
Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Consistent sleep and wake up times will train your body to be in line with your needs at the right times, giving you more energy as you go about your day. Exercise daily and remember to watch your caffeine and alcohol intake.
See a doctor:
If you are having sleep problems regularly, it may be time to see a licensed physician for some assistance. There is no harm in getting yourself checked out.
Remember to be patient, some changes make take a little time for your to feel the improvements. Developing healthy sleep habits are a sure way to boost your overall health. For tips to turn your bedroom into the perfect sleep cave, click here!