Can’t sleep? Tried a bunch of remedies ranging from sleeping pills to hitting the sheets earlier? Everybody suffers from insomnia from time to time and some of us have chronic, poor sleep habits that keep us in a perpetual morning fog.
Let’s kick insomnia out of your bed!
Granted, sometimes you can’t help avoid sleep robbers…like when you’re new parent or working a graveyard shift, but even for those two, you can do stuff that will truly help.
First, here are some quick tips for New Parents and our friends on Graveyard Shifts and then I’ll get to the 6 rules to kick insomnia out of your bed for the rest of us.
As a new parent you have to let other stuff go and nap when the baby naps. Not easy to do, but like they say in the airline industry, you gotta put the mask on yourself first before you can save anyone else.
As for graveyard shifts…they’re really tough. You have to truly shift your body into believing sleeping in the day is normal. Make sure you use every sense deprivation device you can think of….sleep masks or black out curtains and ear plugs.
For the rest of us…there are 6 simple sleep rules to kick insomnia out of your bed. Break any of them and you can wreck your chances of getting the sleep you need:
- Don’t take long naps…nothing over an hour
- Do take a short 20 minute nap in the early afternoon…think of it as a ‘time out’
- Don’t stay up until the wee hours…get a full 8 hours before the sun is fully shining again
- Do allow for a full 8 hours…study after study show that our bodies are designed to regenerate most effectively with sufficient sleep…8-9 hours for adults
- Don’t force yourself to go to bed earlier if you’re not sleepy…instead, put effort into getting sleepy…stop working…do relaxing things like reading light subjects…listen to restful music, dim the lights, drink soothing teas or take a warm bath
- Don’t eat spicy foods, or those full of caffeine or sugar right before bed…i.e. no coffee, caffeinated tea, chocolate or junk food snacks
There you have it. I sure hope this list helps you. It’s helped me. My worse offenders have been #3 (I’m a natural night owl) and #6 (I LOVE chocolate)…deep sigh. Do try to break the habits that are wrecking your sleep because keeping the sleepless habits are damaging your health and undermining your full enjoyment of each day.
Don’t invite insomnia into your bed. Let’s get some ZZZZ!