Last Tuesday, we wrote about the therapeutic benefits of exercise. Health and wellness encompasses a variety of activities, including active self-care and simple actions that you can try anytime. This Tuesday, we take a peek at sleep hygiene.
We've all experienced difficulty sleeping and struggling to get enough rest. It is probably a safe bet to say that insomnia is no fun. A couple of us at Erasing the Distance have recently been introduced to the concept of "sleep hygiene."
Tips for Solid Sleep Hygiene:
- Make your bed a place for sleep and sex only. Avoid using your bed for non-sleep activities, such as working, eating, or hanging out.
- Avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol within a few hours of going to bed.
(Some people find that a single glass of wine before bed may help you fall asleep. While okay for some, alcohol does cause less restful sleep at times).
- The best sleep hygiene is to have a routine, and go to the bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- If you are tossing and turning, get out of bed. Consider doing a relaxing activity outside of bed. Then, return to bed once you start to feel sleepy again.
- Speaking of relaxing activities, did you know that watching television and surfing the web actually stimulate the brain to release dopamine? Though these activities seem relaxing, they should be avoided while trying to sleep.
- Mom was right -- a glass of warm milk can help you sleep.
As for the last tip, there is some debate as to the science of why warm milk can help with sleep. But surveys and anecdotes show that it still makes the list for good sleep hygiene. And every once in a while, we like to give moms credit.
More tips are available online at Health.com and in the Health Section at NYTimes.com.