Monday, April 26, 2021

Sleeping Better At Night.

 We are reaching the time of year when the days become longer and the darkness is much shorter.  I live in a place where the sun sets after midnight and is up by 6:00 in the morning right now and daylight will get longer. This can make it difficult to get enough sleep every night. Fortunately, there are things one can do to make it easier to fall asleep at night. 

The first thing to do is to make sure you get enough bright light during the day so your body’s internal rhythm knows when it is time to be awake.  It is best to be exposed to bright sunlight but if that isn’t possible, use lights that are extremely bright for the same effect.  

At the same time, cut back on using electronic devices in the evening because they produce a blue light which tricks your body into thinking it is still daylight.  One way to do this is to wear a special pair of glasses that block blue light or download an app for your device which blocks it. If all else fails, stop watching television or electronic devices about 2 hours before bedtime.

In addition, quit drinking anything with caffeine after dinner because the caffeine can remain in your blood system for up to 6 hours after it’s consumed.  Furthermore, if you love to nap that is fine but don’t take naps that last more than 30 minutes because it can confuse your internal clock. In fact, taking a longer nap can leave you feeling sleepier rather than refreshed.

Another suggestion is to make your routine consistent for going to bed and waking up.  One should try to go to bed and get up at about the same time every day because it helps you get a better quality of sleep. If you want a more regular sleep, taking a small dose of melatonin helps people fall asleep faster and experience a better night's sleep.

Don’t forget to arrange your bedroom to make it more inviting.  Make sure the lights are dimmer, the temperature is cooler, extra light from devices and clocks are limited, and the amount of outside noise is kept to a minimum so as to improve your ability to fall and stay asleep.  

Relax through meditation, take a relaxing bath or shower, and make sure you have a comfortable bed, good sheets, and covers.  If your mattress is too old, it can make it harder for you to sleep and possibly can cause back pain.  It is best to replace mattresses every 10 years or so.  Finally make sure you don’t eat or exercise too close to bedtime because both can interfere with your ability to sleep and keep you awake for hours.  

I learned to think about going to bed one to two hours before I need to be asleep.  I take a nice shower, grab a book, and enjoy a relaxing read in a room whose lights are dimmer.  It works and usually I’m ready to go to sleep at my normal bedtime and I sleep.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.  Have a great day.

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