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Healthy sleep habits

Sleep. Sleep, for some, is a precious blessing and for others, well, they have a hard time falling asleep and/or staying asleep once they doze off, or awaken way too early.

I have experienced sleep difficulties for a long time but it is helped by the medication I currently take, that being, melatonin and an antidepressant, both of which, fosters sleep, so I find most nights I get a good night’s sleep, but it hasn’t always s been the case.

Many millions of Americans have sleep problems, some because of specific causes such as depression and/or worry, and others seem to have an unknown cause of their sleeplessness. There are numerous sleep clinics around the country, which serve to ascertain and work towards better sleep with the individuals they serve.

One thing that is important is having good “sleep habits.” If you are not practicing these good habits, then take a deep breath and relax, it is okay, they can be learned.

The following are some of the generally held “sleep habits” which may be necessary to achieve a satisfactory night’s sleep:

  1. Never do anything in your bed except sleep and have sex
  2. Do not watch television or be on a computer from your bed
  3. Do not allow lights shining from such sources as computers, televisions and the like. Too much light in the bedroom can be a cause for a poor night’s sleep. Never allow a television on in the room after going to bed
  4. Set the mood for sleep by lowering lights in the late evening hours, turning off computers and TV’s, perhaps even encouraging others to call early or not at all.
  5. If you cannot sleep after retiring, get back up and read or spend a few minutes up and out of your room. Do something relaxing and then return to bed after about 20 minutes. I find a warm shower to be relaxing and helps me fall asleep
  6. Some find that drinking a cup of warm milk with vanilla extract is helpful
  7. Have the room cool, the bed comfortable, and dress in comfortable night apparel
  8. Avoid the use of sleeping medication as this is highly addictive. If you must take it to get over a powerful sleepless few days, take it only for a few nights and then revert back to your normal activities at bedtime
  9. The room should be dark and quiet.
  10. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time each night
  11. Aim for eight hours of sleep a night
  1. Exercise during the day is often recommended but not too late in the afternoon or evening
  2. Do not allow pets in the bedroom at night

Also a meditation tape or some relaxing music before going to bed may be helpful.

So, if sleep alludes you, try these healthy sleep habits and see if your night is improved.

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