Women have a tendency to put everything first. With all the responsibilities one of the first things we tend to put off is sleep. We try to squeeze just one more thing in before we go to bed. The problem is that we do not get enough sleep and then have troubles getting everything done the next day. With a little planning and a few small changes in habits, sleep can be back as a time to renew and refresh both body and mind. These 12 small changes will help.
• Go to bed at the same time every night. Your body is designed to follow a specific order known as a circadian rhythm so it expects to go to sleep around the same time each day.
• Try to keep the clutter out of your bedroom. Your house may have a little clutter but your bedroom should be a place of rest if you have clutter it can keep your mind active thinking about all the things you need to do.
• Get a little sunlight in the morning. Your brain reacts to the sunlight and tells you it is time to be awake. This helps to set your internal clock so it will be easier to get to sleep at night
• Reduce your exposure to light at least 20 minutes before sleep. Your brain needs the cue that says it is night time and time to go to sleep.
• Avoid the use of electronics before bed. They give off a lot more light than you realize and will stimulate your brain saying it is not dark out and not time to go to bed
• If you do choose to nap in the afternoon make it short. A nap for an adult should be no more than 20 minutes. This allows your brain to reboot and for you to feel refreshed without keeping you awake at night.
• Get some exercise during the day. This will allow your body to expend energy that will allow you to sleep better at night
• Listen to your body. Everyone needs to get a certain amount of sleep most women it is 7-8 hours a night. Listen to your body and then plan your bedtime to make sure you get that much sleep.
• Change your pillows on a regular basis. Many people do not think about changing their pillow but if you think about it, they are used every night and eventually they will not support you the way they once did. You should change them every 6 months to 1 year depending on the style.
• If you have hot flashes try putting a cool damp washcloth on the back of your neck. It will help to end the hot flash and allow you to go to sleep.
• If you have leg cramps during the night especially if you are pregnant you might want to try compression stockings to help reduce the ache. It appears that the pressure helps to reduce the signals the nerves give out helping to reduce the problem.
• Talk to your doctor if you have sleep issues. There are many health issues that can disrupt your sleep and are under diagnosed in women like acid reflux, incontinence, sleep apnea and teeth grinding. These can be treated but only if you talk to your doctor about them.
Sleep is such an important part of your day and can improve your memory, health, and well be. Do not think that it is unproductive time but giving yourself what your body requires.