Sleep is one of the most healing and revitalizing experiences known. Although it may seem as though we’re just lying there when we sleep, our bodies are hard at work. The brain and body are busy performing a number of restorative processes while we slumber away.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule. To consolidate and deepen sleep, restrict the amount of sleep to only as much as needed to feel refreshed during the following day.
Exercising regularly helps deepen sleep; however, strenuous exercise should be completed three-four hours before going to bed.
Arrange the bedroom so that it is a comfortable setting. Insulate it against sound and light by using carpets and curtains; ear plugs and eye masks may be helpful.
Keep the room at a cool to moderate temperature. Excessive heat disturbs sleep.
Avoid liquids before going to sleep to minimize nighttime trips to the bathroom. If liquids are not a problem, try drinking a small hot beverage (herbal tea, almond, rice or soy milk) at bedtime.
Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeinated beverages (especially in the evening). Although alcohol may help a person fall asleep, it causes subsequent sleep to be fragmented.
Work out family or job related problems before going to sleep.
Use the bedroom for sleeping and sexual activity only. If you can’t fall asleep, don’t get angry at yourself; get up, leave the room, and engage in another activity like reading or stretching.
Avoid napping longer than one-hour after four pm.
Try a relaxation techniques, such as, biofeedback, diaphragm breathing, meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or massage to prepare the mind and body for sleep.