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Simple steps for a good night’s sleep

Many of us wear it as a badge of honor that we work too hard and do not have enough time for sleep. Well guess what? Sleep has to be a priority in order for you to become more productive. Lack of sleep leads to memory loss, impaired judgment, slowed reaction times, road accidents and many more adverse effects every year. 

Here are six simple tips for a better night’s rest:

  1. Schedule

Guard carefully your schedules 7-9 hours of rest each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day until it becomes a habit. 

2. Eat earlier

Avoid having large meals or fluids before bedtime. This affects your body’s ability to truly rest and rejuvenate by diverting your body’s energy to digestion. Fluid will interrupt your sleep by causing you to wake up during the night. Complete eating 3 hours or more before bedtime.

3. Slow down

Turn off all stimulation at least one hour before bedtime. This means putting away cell phones, turning off the television and all devices before bedtime. This helps your mind wind down and cue your body for sleep.

4. Say “NO” to stress

Find a way to release stress and tension as part of your nighttime routine. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and stretching or thought dumping into a journal are great ways to quiet the mind and body in preparation for sleep.

5. Routine

Create a bedtime routine just for you. Use the hour before bedtime as a time for self care. For example you could have a ritual of lighting candles, taking a shower, meditating etc before bedtime.

6. Physical activity

This may sound counterproductive but physical activity is also a great way to improve night time sleep and this is true whether you choose to exercise in the morning or evening. For those who prefer to exercise in the evening, it may be beneficial not to exercise too close to bedtime. Listen to your body and see what works for you.

What do you find helpful for a good night’s sleep. Let’s share in the comments below and help each other out!

To your health

Dona Cooper-Dockery, MD

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