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Get A Good Night’s Sleep

March 21st, 2024 by Janet Chen

Have you ever woken up and felt just as tired as when you went to sleep?  If you don’t get enough sleep or don’t have a restful sleep, this can impact the rest of your day.  According to a Harvard Medical School article, “8 Secrets to A Good Night’s Sleep,” as we age there tends to be a decrease in the number of hours we sleep.  There are also changes in the way the body regulates circadian rhythms. When the age changes occur, it can be harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

It’s normal to have trouble sleeping occasionally, but if it’s constant it can become problematic.  It can impact our mood and our health.

The article says that some people start using medications for lack of sleep. This can have many side effects such as change in appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and strange dreams.

They offer 8 tips to try before turning to medication.

  1. Exercise: Going to the gym, for a walk or bike ride can help you sleep. “Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.” They suggest not to exercise near your bedtime as it can be energizing and then you won’t be able to fall asleep.
  2. Reserve your bed for sleeping: Make your bed a safe space. Don’t text or work from your bed.  Don’t watch TV late at night in bed.  Train your body and mind that your bed is a restful space instead of one where work gets done.
  3. Keep it comfortable: Keep your room dark and quiet. Television and your phone are a disturbance to your sleep.
  4. Start a Sleep Ritual: Did your mother read to you every night as a child? This sort of ritual can help you go to sleep.  This can help as an adult too.  Do something that can help calm and settle your mind.  Things like, a bath, reading, meditation, or soothing music may help.
  5. Eat – but not too much: If you are hungry or your stomach aches this can keep you up. But it’s not a good idea to eat an entire meal right before you go to bed.  They suggest a small heathy snack like an apple, slice of cheese, or whole-wheat cracker.
  6. Avoid Alcohol or Caffeine: The article suggests avoiding alcohol or chocolate before bed. “Chocolate contains caffeine, which is a stimulate and alcohol has a similar effect.” This can interrupt your sleep.
  7. De-Stress: You are probably busy and have a lot going on. You may worry about the things you need to do at night. So, it’s important to relax before you go to bed. Try meditating or doing some breathing exercises.
  8. Get Checked: The article says, “Symptoms such as snoring or burning pain in your stomach, chest, or throat are symptoms of sleep disrupters like sleep apnea or GERD.”

You may consider seeing a doctor.

If you are a light sleeper a white noise machine or app on your phone can be very helpful.

Hope these tips and tricks are helpful so you can get a good night’s sleep!

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