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Tired? Consider Your Sleep Environment

Nothing is worse than waking up tired in the morning!  Rarely a day goes by when I don’t have a million and one things to accomplish so I need to be alert and ready for the day.  I’m sure I’m not alone so how does one go about getting a great night’s sleep?  Check out the following tips and hopefully you will wake up refreshed and ready for the day!

 

  1. Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 1.07.29 PMStick to a routine.  It is so important to attempt to go to sleep and wake up at about the same time every day.  It doesn’t seem to matter what that time is as much as staying consistent with that time.  Additionally, resist sleeping in on the weekends.  I know it’s hard but routine is crucial to your sleep wake cycles.
  2. Avoid stimulating activities right before bed.  Watching TV, using your computer and reading a suspenseful book will increase cortisol levels (responsible for waking you in the morning and plentiful during stressful situations) and inhibit the release of melatonin (the hormones responsible for helping you fall asleep).  Instead, try stretching, listening to relaxing music or meditating.
  3. Turn off or down the light from any electronics in your bedroom.  Ambient light from alarm clocks, cell phones or computers can disturb sleep cycles and keep you from getting the deep sleep you need.
  4. Decrease the temperature in your bedroom.  Optimal room temperature is between 60-68 degrees Farenheit.  While that may seem chilly simply studies have shown that cooler temperatures in the bedroom lead to deeper sleep and you might just decrease your electric bill!
  5. Pick the perfect pillow according to your preferred sleep position.  The key in any position is to pick a pillow that allows your neck and back to remain in a neutral position. Stomach sleepers need a very thin pillow of no pillow at all.  However, stomach sleeping is not an ideal sleep position since there is a great deal of stress placed on the spine regardless of pillow thickness.  Back sleepers should choose a thin pillow that has a neck cradle to maintain neutral spine meaning that the chin is neither tucked or elevated towards the ceiling when lying on the pillow.  Lastly, side sleepers should use a firm pillow with a medium thickness.  When lying on the pillow the spine should appear straight from behind.  Additionally, sleeping with another pillow between the needs helps align the lower back as well as providing optimal positioning for the entire spine.
  6. Try deep breathing.  Even when all of these tips are employed sometimes sleep eludes us! If you find yourself wishing you could fall asleep try this deep breathing technique. Close your eyes and start to take slow deep breaths as you count silently.  On your inhale count one, on your exhale count two.  Take another inhale count three then exhale on count four.  Repeat until you reach ten and then start from one again and repeat until sleep occurs.  It works like a charm every time!

 

Getting a great night’s sleep can be the difference between a productive day or one that is fraught with fatigue, lack of concentration and frustration.  Why not try some of these tips?  What do you have to lose?

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