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Sleep Better

We frequently hear that patients are having a hard time sleeping.  This is the first part in a series of ideas to help you sleep better.

Establish a routine:  our bodies adjust to our habits, and starting a bedtime routine develops a habit that tells your body you are going to sleep soon.  Your body will start winding down with these routines allowing you to get to sleep faster.

Exercise: various research studies have shown that exercise decreases anxiety and can allow you to sleep better.

Exercise at least 2 hours before bedtime:  Exercising can raise your metabolism,  heart rate, and adrenaline which can stay elevated for a short while after exercising.  Allowing time between exercise and sleeping will allow these to return to normal and can help with better sleep.

Bedroom activities only:  You should be setting up your mind/body to think of relaxing stress free activities.  Eating in bed and worrying about bills send the wrong message and can affect your sleep.

Have a cool room:  Everyone is different but aim for around 68 degrees.  With covers on this should allow a more comfortable sleeping situation.

Take a hot shower before bed (but not right before bed): A nice hot shower can help relax you. The increase and decrease in body temperature can help to make you sleepy.  Try to be finished with the shower at least 30 min before bed.

Set a daily go to sleep and daily wake up times:  Establishing these routines is essential for sleep patterns.  Even if you feel like hitting the snooze button or watching the late show try to stick to your routine.