How do you get started? Simple! Follow these easy steps:
- Establish a regular bedtime. Try to sleep at the same time every night. Most people need anywhere from 6 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Avoid naps - these can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Exercise daily. This helps your body get tired enough to sleep and enhances the sleep cycle.
- Create a quiet routine prior to sleeping. Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime, like watching TV. Try reading a book or listening to music instead.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine or alcohol - all commonly disrupt sleep. Try not to have any caffeine after lunchtime if possible.
- Create a restful space in your bedroom. Make sure your room is dark enough during bedtime. Get earplugs if you have a noisy house.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable. If your mattress is over 10 years old, and caves in or gives you back pain, it may be time to invest in a new one.
If the above do not work, other natural remedies for sleep include melatonin, taken at a dose of one to two grams a night. Herbs such as valerian and chamomile are also used to help bring about sleep, usually in a tea form. Sweet dreams- naturally!
Of note - please see your family doctor for any persistent insomnia, excessive snoring or daytime drowsiness due to insomnia - which may be signs of sleep apnea.