Sleep is vital to your heath. It’s vital to your mood. It’s vital for your body to function properly. Yet, the more and more patients I see and speak with, it seems to be that people aren’t getting enough of it. Not only is there a LACK of sleep issue, but there is a TROUBLE with sleep issue. Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and feeling unrested and groggy in the morning when waking.
Dr. Josh and I have put together 10 simple tips that, if done properly, will surely help you with your sleep. Check them out and let me know what you think!
Go to bed and wake up at the same time daily for better, more consistent sleep
While this is super easy to do during the week, if your working Monday-Friday, it’s the weekends that mess up everything. I remember lying awake, staring at the ceiling on Sunday evenings, because I had slept in all weekend long. This totally made me super lethargic on Monday because I’d gotten little sleep on Sunday night. Sound familiar?
Exercise regularly to fall asleep faster
Not only is regular exercise good for you for a million other reasons, but exercise is also AMAZING at helping you fall asleep easier, because your body is more tired and relaxed.
Limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon to avoid trouble falling asleep at night
Do you love coffee and drink it after lunch to get you ready for the afternoon shift? While this may power you through the remaining 4+ hours of your work day, it also may be contributing to the problem of your inability to fall asleep at night. Try changing to green tea in the afternoon, which typically has one third less of the amount of caffeine as a cup of Joe, plus it has a lot of great health benefits.
Reduce stress by meditating or taking a walk after dinner
Stress is the WORST! It will keep you lying awake, tossing and turning for hours. The BEST advice I have for this is to get out in nature, or meditate! Talk a walk after dinner by the ocean, lake or on a trail. Take deep breaths and note all the things you’re grateful for and forget about that stressor, chances are you won’t be stressed about it for long, so why let it affect your health and your sleep. Check out my Blog Post about the 3 ways stress affects your body, and how to avoid it.
Turn off your technology at least 1 hour before bed to calm your mind for better sleep
Harvard Health published an article revealing that the blue light, which is emitted by electronics, ‘throws the body’s biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack (and) sleep suffers.’ They recommend to avoid looking at bright screens 2-3hours before bed, but I’ll give you one hour. You get a SUPER bonus if you leave your phone and computer in another room other than your bedroom, avoiding all the radiation emitted from your phone.
Check out this interesting science experience performed by a group of 9th graders in Denmark. They found that plants wouldn’t grow near a Wi-Fi router. Pretty scary, huh?
Read a book before bed to become sleepy
If you’re turning off technology 1+ hours before you want to be to sleep, what are you going to do? Read! Reading not only makes you sleeping, but it is obviously beneficial intellectually as well. Get the good old fashion books and avoid reading a Kindle before bed.
Use a white noise machine or fan to drown out noises for deeper sleep
External noises from pets, weather, spouses and so much more can keep you awake at night. Avoid hearing any of those external noises by purchases a white noise machine. While we are usually a big fan of mobile apps, the white noise mobile apps mean that you have to have your phone near you at night, which opens open a can of worms for distractions from sleep and radiation exposure. It’s best to purchase an actual machine and use it instead. We personally use this one, found on Amazon.
Stretch before bed for more relaxed sleep
Your muscles are going to feel more relaxed if you take 15 minutes to stretches before going to sleep each night. Put on some nice music or even stretch during your favorite TV show to loosen up your muscles for a great nights rest.
Limit the time of your afternoon nap to ensure you’re able to fall asleep in the evening
This one is always a tough one and is super common on the weekends. When we nap, we stay up later, throwing off our sleep time. Avoid naps all together or keep them at 20 minutes or less.
Limit your alcohol consumption to avoid disrupted sleep
Think that night cap is a good idea? Think again…
‘A new review of 27 studies shows that alcohol does not improve sleep quality. According to the findings, alcohol does allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply for a while, but it reduces (REM) sleep (deep sleep).’
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Thanks so much for reading! Here’s to better posture and better health!