Thursday, October 24, 2013

Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is a restorative process that allows your body to rest and reenergize to take on the day. Without proper sleep, it can increase the effects of depression and anxiety, increase irritability, and decrease energy, concentration, and coping skills. Here are a few tips to help you get a good night's sleep:

1 .Develop a Sleep Routine

Your body functions in rhythms and cycles, and sleep also functions in this same way. When you go to bed the same time every night, and wake up the same time every day (yes-including weekends!) your body finds a rhythm that makes going to sleep an easier process. Try to aim for a schedule that includes 7-8 hours of sleep time. Start your sleep routine 30 minutes to 1 hour before the time you actually need to go to sleep. The sleep routine can include getting ready for bed activities, listening to soft music, soothing time with family, or watching a relaxing tv show.

2. Examine your Environment

Take a look around the location where you sleep and try to create as soothing as environment as possible. Is the room dark enough? Is white noise needed to block out sounds? Is the temperature comfortable? Are you surrounded by d├ęcor that feels soothing and comforting? Is there anything in the room that makes you feel uncomfortable, and can it be moved? Make any needed adjustments to help promote a health environment to induce sleep.

3. Reduce/Limit Caffeine Intake

Pay attention to the types, frequencies, and amounts of caffeine you consume. Caffeine can be contained in coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate, among other things. Try not to consume any caffeine at least 3 hours before you begin your sleep routine to help maximize your ability to fall asleep.

4. Expend Physical and Emotional Energy

Extra energy at the end of the day can create difficulty in falling asleep. Try including exercise during your day, take a walk after dinner, talk to a friend, or journal your thoughts to help release physical and emotional energy to decrease racing thoughts at bedtime.

Give some of these tips a try and see if you begin to experience improved sleep. If you find that you suffer chronically from insomnia or a sleep disorder, please consult your physician for treatment options.

For more information on Open Doors Counseling, please call 602-499-9952 or check us out at