According to a recent study by the Center for Disease Control, an alarming 40 million workers get fewer than six hours per sleep per night. If you are one of these sleep-deprived individuals, here are a few pre-bedtime tactics that will give you a sound, restful sleep, no problem. Check them out below.
Practice mindfulness: Get to know your body and its threshold for potential sleep inhibitors
The key to better sleep is scrutinizing your daily routine. Look at what you put in your body, what you expose it to and the potential impact it can have on you at night. Some bodies are more sensitive than othersso it’s up to you to figure out where your sensitivities lie and manage them accordingly.
Experiment: Ditch the AM cup of Joe and see what ensues
According to the Institute of Food Technologists, every individual reacts differently to caffeine. Further, the body can become used to caffeine so that frequent users are less prone to the stimulant effects than others. For the avid coffee drinkers out there, try cutting back on one cup per week and see if your ability to sleep improves over time. If that’s WAY too aggressive for you, go slower; try cutting back on one cup every two weeks or every month.
Shift into airplane mode: Do a digital detox 30 minutes before bed
Ok, so most airlines now allow us to go wireless, but you get the picture. Electronic devices tend to rev up the nervous system, and that can make falling asleep difficult. Try turning electronic devices off 30 minutes before bed and let them stay off, no late night texts to managers or part-time lovers. Try it for a week and see if it helps.
Wind down: Establish a pre-bedtime relax routine
During the course of your 30-minute digital detox do some activities that help you transition into “sleep mode.” We will focus on this in greater detail next week so stay tuned!
Go Au Naturel: Toss the sleeping pills
There are a lot of natural remedies out there that can aid with sleep deprivation. Check out Bach’s Rescue Sleep, which can be found at Whole Foods. If that is not doing it for you, check out your nearest naturopath for a consult.
In summary, the key to better sleep is understanding your body and where its sensitivities lie. Remember we are all unique with respect to what we can tolerate so listen to your body and see what it tells you.
Good luck, happy sleeping and stay tuned for next week’s post, where we will focus on tips for establishing a pre-bedtime relaxation routine.
Stacy Slawitsky turned to yoga and mindfulness as a means to relieve the stress of a demanding job at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Her passion to share the benefits of these practices with others led her to start ZenConnect. She conducts stress management programs for companies throughout the Boston area.