Madison
79° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Advertisement

7 steps to a better sleep

Published On: Mar 11 2014 11:36:31 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 26 2014 10:40:24 AM CDT
Sleep

iStock/WebSubstance

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Feeling crabby lately? Or simply worn out? Perhaps the solution is better sleep.

Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night's sleep -- from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues or illnesses. It's no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.

Although you might not be able to control all of the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple sleep tips.

No. 1: Stick to a sleep schedule

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. There's a caveat, though. If you don't fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you're tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to nod off.

No. 2: Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Don't go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet.

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine -- which take hours to wear off -- can wreak havoc with quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

No. 3: Create a bedtime ritual

Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music -- preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.

Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.

No. 4: Get comfortable

Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you. If you share your bed, make sure there's enough room for two. If you have children or pets, set limits on how often they sleep with you -- or insist on separate sleeping quarters.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379/

Advertisement
  • Bill-Cosby-pre-trial-hearing

    Matt Rourke-Pool/Getty Images

    Cosby sex scandal timeline

    A Pennsylvania judge ruled Tuesday, May 24, there is enough evidence, for Bill Cosby to go to trial for a 2004 case. Cosby goes to trial for felony indecent assault charges and faces up to 10 years in prison. Check out a timeline of rape and other sexual misconduct accusations made against the comedian.

  • Edward Nero1

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Officers charged in Freddie Gray case

    Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges Monday, May 23, in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, Judge Barry Williams ruled after a bench trial. Nero is one of six officers tried in connection in the case and the second to be tried. Here is a closer look at the cases of six officers charged in Gray's death.

  • PHOTOS: Birds, birds, birds!

    Birdwatchers spotted a variety of the feathered critters on a hike in Lake Mills Saturday morning. Ed Hahn, education co-chair for the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology said some were common backyard birds and others were rare sights.

Advertisement