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09 October 2016

10 Ways to Improve Sleep

Do you find that you have a difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep or waking early? Do you experience symptoms of inadequate sleep? If so, you may want to consider these top 10 ways to improve your sleep!

  1. Have a general schedule for sleeping every day, even on your days that you don’t need to wake for something on your calendar, and aim for approximately 8 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Sleep in a quiet, dark, cool environment on a comfortable bed.
  3. Have a bed-time routine that is relaxing, such as reading your favorite book.
  4. Avoid screen time for two hours prior to going to bed (this includes computer time, T.V. time, use of cell phones, etc.
  5. Incorporate stress-management techniques into your daily schedule, such as meditation, yoga, a walk outside, etc.
  6. Get body movement early in the day – walk, run, bike, play your favorite sport, etc. Go for variety and see if a friend wants to join you. Going early in the day tends to improve sleep.
  7. Have a light meal for dinner and avoid going to bed hungry or too full.
  8. Skip sweet deserts and go for healthy options, especially at night. Sugar at any time of the day can affect sleep, so if you have sleeping difficulties, try to avoid.
  9. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar, especially after 3pm. If you have known food sensitivities, avoid these as well.
  10. Cover your clock if you tend to lie awake watching the time go by and consider a clock that emits sun-light to wake you.

Following these general guidelines will typically help improve sleep over time. However, if no improvement is seen, then consider contacting me for further support. There are additional lifestyle, nutritional and supplemental recommendations that can be made to improve sleep and several laboratory tests that can be done to determine other potential underlying causes of insomnia.

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