Getting good sleep can help with a lot of ailments including depression, anxiety, pain, and stress
- Keep a regular sleep schedule. This means that you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
- Use natural measures before prescriptions.
- Getting adequate light exposure. I know this can be hard if you work in an environment where you are in work before the sun and leave after the sun goes down, however, try taking your breaks or even your lunch outside or next to a window.
- Make sure that you are going to sleep in darkness. This means, no sleeping with the light on, or falling asleep with the TV on.
- Make sure you are eating properly.
- If you’re eating junk food throughout the day, you are not giving your brain the essential nutrients it needs to do the tasks during the day.
- Try not to eat a big fatty meal. This could keep you awake due to the digestive issues surrounding it.
- Cut caffeine out of your diet about 3-5 hours prior to bedtime. Studies have shown that caffeine could affect us up to 10 hours afterwards.
- Cut alcohol out of your nighttime routine because even though it may help you to fall asleep, you are losing the quality of sleep which is extremely important.
- Having a light snack before bed can be helpful if you are eating the right things. Try granola, half of a turkey sandwich, or a banana.
- Decrease your anxiety and stress. Yeah, I know, easier said then done. However, when we have a lot on our mind, it is very difficult to stop these thoughts and they keep us up at night. One of the top reasons people have for not being able to sleep is that their minds won’t shut off. Whether you do yoga, meditate or see a counselor, getting these under control will improve your sleep.
- Take an over-the-counter Melatonin pill. Our bodies naturally produces this chemical so by taking this, you are just boosting what is in our bodies. Talk to your doctor to see if this is appropriate for you.
Post by: Jessica Edmonds, MA, LPC
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