9 Tips For A Great Night's Sleep
We all know how important sleeping is for your health. Here are some tips to help you get a great night’s sleep.
MAINTAIN A REGULAR SLEEP ROUTINE
Go to bed at the same time. Wake up at the same time. Ideally, your schedule will remain the same, within 20 minutes or so, every night of the week
AVOID NAPS IF POSSIBLE
Naps decrease the “Sleep Debt” that is so necessary for easy sleep onset. Each of us needs a certain amount of sleep per 24-hour period. We need that amount, and we don’t need more than that. When we take naps, it decreases the amount of sleep that we need the next night - which may cause sleep fragmentation, difficulty initiating sleep, and may lead to insomnia.
DON’T STAY IN BED AWAKE FOR MORE THAN 5-10 MINUTES
If you find your mind racing, or worrying about not being able to sleep during the middle of the night, get out of bed, and sit in a chair in the dark. Do your mind racing in the chair until you are sleepy, then return to bed. No TV or internet during these periods! That will just stimulate you more than desired. If this happens several times during the night, that is OK, just maintain your regular wake time and try to avoid naps.
DON’T WATCH TV OR READ IN BED
When you watch TV or read in bed, you associate the bed with wakefulness. The bed is reserved for sleep.
DO NOT DRINK CAFFEINE INAPPROPRIATELY
The effects of caffeine may last for several hours after ingestion. Caffeine can fragment sleep and cause difficulty initiating sleep. If you drink caffeine, do so only before noon. Remember, that soda and tea contain caffeine as well.
AVOID INAPPROPRIATE SUBSTANCES THAT INTERFERE WITH SLEEP
Cigarettes, alcohol, and over-the-counter medications may cause fragmented sleep.
Exercise before 2 pm every day. Exercise promotes continuous sleep. Avoid rigorous exercise before bedtime. Rigorous exercise circulates endorphins into the body which may cause difficulty initiating sleep.
HAVE A QUIET, COMFORTABLE BEDROOM
Set your bedroom thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Generally, a little cooler is better than a little warmer. Turn off the TV and other extraneous noise that may disrupt sleep. Background ‘white noise’ like a fan is OK. If your pets awaken you, keep them outside the bedroom. Your bedroom should be dark. Turn off bright lights.
HAVE A COMFORTABLE PRE-BEDTIME ROUTINE
A warm bath or shower, meditation or quiet.
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