5) Begin rituals that help us relax each night before bed. Rituals such as a warm bath, a snack with tryptophan, like bananas or turkey, light reading, listening to quiet music or a relaxation tape can help us ease into sleep. A comfortable bed and a pillow that won’t cramp our neck is a must. If there are worries about tomorrow, take time before bed to write down any concerns, and let them go. Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing can also be helpful. If we are having trouble sleeping after 20 minutes, then we should get out of the bed and find something to do that will help us relax, like doing some light reading or getting a cup of herbal tea. Go to another room if possible. Once we feel sleepy again, go back to bed
6) Get regular exercise each day. A good work-out program during the day can be helpful for a good night’s sleep. Vigorous, aerobic exercise should be taken in the morning or late afternoon. Avoid any tough exercise within six hours before bedtime. Relaxing exercise, like gentle yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night’s sleep.
Healthy habits of good sleep take time to develop. Let’s remember to be patient and gentle with ourselves. Once we develop good sleep habits we may find less need to medicate for sleep. Explore online sites to continue honing your healthy sleep habits. Visit the University of Maryland Medicine Sleep Hygiene site for further discussion on healthy habits of good sleep: (http://www.umm.edu/sleep)
Sound sleep means a sound mind. Proper amounts of sleep keep our mind and body alert and help us to receive and learn new information. Sleep allows our body to cure itself because during sleep our body gets the opportunity to repair damaged cells. Sleep can also help the immune system fight off infection and prevent the development of other health problems.