10 Tips from the National Sleep Foundation to Help You Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep
Did you know the word “insomnia” means “no sleep” in Latin?
As a friend of the National Sleep Foundation on Facebook, I frequently view their posts on sleep-related education and research. Recently, a particular post caught my eye: Healthy Sleep Tips. I, for one, have no trouble falling asleep, but I have a very difficult time staying asleep and feeling refreshed when I wake up. Friends of JacuzziOfficial reported to get an average of 4-6 quality hours of sleep. I typically get four quality hours of sleep a night even though I am in bed for eight hours, my sleep is never deep and continuous. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “throughout adulthood, even as we get older, we need 7-9 hours of sleep.”
For you tired, sleep deprived individuals, I give you the National Sleep Foundation’s Healthy Sleep Tips:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
Some studies suggest that soaking in hot water (such as a hot tub or bath) before retiring to bed can ease the transition into deeper sleep, but it should be done early enough that you are no longer sweating or over-heated.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
- Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.