Updated: Jul 5
If you have trouble sleeping or find yourself tired during the day, it may be time to re-examine your habits. These simple "Dos and Don'ts" can help you find rest, without relying on harmful, unnatural sleep aids.
Control your sleep space
Believe it or not, your surroundings can greatly influence your quality of sleep. Any rhythm (your internal clock) can keep you awake and cause #fatigue. Your circadian rhythm is significantly influenced by light and temperature. Studies show the ideal temperature at which you sleep should be lower than the temperature that is comfortable when you are awake, so keep the thermostat a little lower at night. Furthermore, even a small amount of light in your room can disturb your rhythm, so darken your bedroom as much as possible.
Get into a routine
Developing a bedtime routine can help you sleep better. Start preparing for bed several hours before bedtime. Get your exercise done by the afternoon, so it does not interfere with your body's attempts to wind down. Go to bed at a consistent time that allows you to get a full eight hours. Taking a cool shower before bed can help your body reach the cooler temperature needed for optimal sleep. Remember to go to the bathroom right before bed so you don't wake up in the middle of the night.
Keep your bed uncluttered
Excess "stuff" on your bed can disturb your sleep even if it doesn't wake you. Too many pillows, blankets, clothes, and other things need to be removed so you have a level of space to sleep. This also means kicking dear Fido out of the bed. Dogs and other pets are bad for your slumber and can ruin your rest.
Eat food before bed
There is some disagreement on whether eating before bed is bad for you, but it should be logical that at least some foods are not advisable just before bedtime. I generally recommend not eating anything after 7:00 PM. People have a tendency to eat junk food right before bed, and while they shouldn't eat it at any time of the day, it's especially bad right before sleep. Sugar, #lactose, and spicy or greasy foods right before bed not only irritate your digestive system, they can leave you feeling sluggish the next day.
Drink alcohol or take stimulants like caffeine and nicotine
It should be obvious that taking any kind of stimulant in the evening or late afternoon will interfere with a good night's sleep. Some people believe drinking alcohol before bed will help them fall asleep faster and achieve a deeper sleep. While alcohol may cause you to become sleepy, it can actually disrupt your circadian rhythm and can diminish your quality of sleep.
Use your bed for anything but sleep
Your bedroom should be your haven for sleeping. Don't turn it into a living room, dining room, or movie theater. Let your brain get used to the bedroom having one purpose - sleep. Anything that stimulates your brain before bed, like watching Tv, for example, can cause you to stay up too late. A good night's sleep is important for optimal daily performance and can boost your immune system. Lack of proper sleep can lead to exhaustion, weight gain, depression, poor memory, and mental function, and can leave you vulnerable to many diseases.
If following the above guidelines still leaves you with trouble getting a good night's sleep, there are some safe and natural sleep supplements I recommend. You can find them at www.drcolbert.com