Learn to Sleep Like a Baby – Sleep Hygiene Strategies
Baby Sleeping in Arms
Sleep Routines to Overcome Insomnia
Nearly everyone struggles from time with time with fatigue and other sleep disturbances from time to time. We’ll look at some tips to help learn to sleep like a baby, in other words developing good sleep hygiene habits.
Many people suffer from severe sleep disorders and should seek medical treatment for these. Sleep deprivation can have a major impact on a persons’ overall health and shouldn’t be ignored.
Daytime Sleep Strategies
In order to establish healthy sleeping hygiene habits, it begins with looking at daytime habits. Here are a few:
- No napping during the day. This can be very difficult if a person is awake a lot during the night, but giving in to the afternoon fatigue will only make the problem worse.
- Do not exercise 4-6 hours before bedtime, but do make a concentrated effort to get exercise during the day, especially getting fresh air outdoors.
- Now is the time for problem solving, try to avoid this in the evening.
Food and Drink Related to Sleep
Do not drink caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, sweets or spicy foods 4-6 hours before bed.
It might be a good idea for a light snack an hour or so before bedtime, especially foods that have sleep inducing qualities. Good ideas are warm milk, bananas, or turkey.
Avoid any heavy meals close to bed time. If a person has GERD otherwise known acid reflux disease, this will exacerbate the problem.
Now might be the time to invest in a comfortable bed, comfy blankets and pillows. Try also darkening curtains or shades to get your room as dark as possible. It will help with getting into the deeper levels of sleep.
Use the bed only for sleeping and romance, not eating, watching TV or other activities.
If you have a TV in the bedroom, remove it. If you find you have to have some sort of noise, try one of the white noise machines, or other sleep aids that makes soothing sounds such as ocean waves.
Develop a Bedtime Ritual
Develop a bedtime ritual that stays close to the same every night, as it helps signal our bodies to prepare for sleep.
Try to go to bed at the same time every evening. Due to the high stress levels common to many people, adrenal fatigue can be a root to exhaustion. According to Dr. James Wilson author of “Adrenal Fatigue”, recommends people be in bed by 9 or 10PM because after that our bodies may get its ‘second wind’ which will cause more difficulty getting to sleep and keeps the negative cycle going. Try to get to bed before that second wind hits.
Don’t watch TV an hour or so before bed. It actually can be a source of preventing sleep. Instead try taking a warm bath, reading or some other quiet activity that doesn’t stimulate energy.
Some people find using melatonin helpful, this is a supplemental hormone that our bodies produce. Try getting therapeutic grade lavender oil and put a couple drops on the base of your neck and on both temples. Some people also use chamomile tea or valerian supplements to help relax them.
If you do wake up in the night, if you don’t fall back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, get up and keep the lights as low as possible and try some of the pre-bedtime suggestions.
Physical Problems that Attribute to Insomnia
There can be other physical problems that contribute to sleeplessness or insomnia. These can include menopause symptoms in women, menstruation, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, headaches, heartburn and some medications. Consult with your medical physician to address these and any other medical issues.
Stick with developing these new sleep hygiene habits; it may take awhile before your body adjusts to the new routine. Keep in mind there may be times to consult a sleep specialist to do a sleep study.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, not for diagnosis or medical treatment. Always seek medical professional treatment for your health care concerns.