Struggling to sleep? The days are getting longer, but for some, so are the nights. Dr. Joseph Ojile from the Clayton Sleep Institute shares six ways to a better sleep.
1. Wind down before bed
Working right up until bedtime doesn't give you a chance to wind down and prepare your body for sleep. Take the hour before bed to transition from the person-who-can-do-everything into the person-who-can-sleep.
2. Take a walk
Or run. Or bike. Or skate. Or skip rope with some kids on the neighbourhood playground. You get the idea. "Exercise improves sleep as effectively as benzodiazepines in some studies," reports Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Ramakrishnan, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
3. Keep a worry journal
When you wake and start worrying, jot down everything you're worrying about and any strategies you've thought of that will solve the problems to which they're related. Then close the journal, put it on your nightstand, turn out the light, and go back to sleep. Your worries will be waiting for you in the morning.
4. Admit the importance of sleep
Sometimes it seems as though our culture has begun to view the need for sleep as a sign of weakness. It's the new macho and women are buying into it big-time.
5. Turn off your technology
Although each new, more multifaceted electronic device that appears in the marketplace promises to make the logistics of our lives a snap, they may actually tie us into too many never-ending webs. Save discrete times in the day to receive and answer business e-mails, and learn to screen the after 6:00 p.m. cell phone calls. Under no circumstances should you check your e-mail right before bed.
6. Darken your bedroom
You sleep better in the dark. If your eyelids flutter open as you move from one stage of sleep to another, even streetlights or a full moon can wake you up. You can also get rid of the clock radios with lighted displays. It turns out your brain can misinterpret even such dim lights and wonder if it should wake you up.