Sleep well tonight with these important tips.
If you can only do three things, do these to get a good night’s sleep, says Helene A. Emsellem, M.D., director of the Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and an associate clinical professor of neurology at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
1. Allow one hour before bedtime for a relaxing activity. Watching the news or answering e-mails does not count! Better choices are reading or listening to soft music. As for sex…well, some people say it just wakes them up and they have trouble sleeping afterward. So factor this into the timing of your bedtime routine.
2. If your mind is relaxed but your body is tense, do some low-intensity stretches and exercises to relax your muscles, especially those in your upper body, neck, and shoulders. Before you get into bed, use light weights (3 to 5 pounds for women, 5 to 10 pounds for men) to calmly exercise these muscles. Do one set of 8 to 10 repetitions of a basic exercise for each upper body muscle. We call this “automassage.”
3. Allow at least three hours between dinner and bedtime. The brain does not sleep well on a full stomach. If you know that you have a busy day planned the following day, have your big meal at lunchtime and a lighter meal as early as possible in the evening. If you find you are still hungry before bedtime, try one of the many protein-enriched power bars (without chocolate) for your bedtime snack.
If you’re tired of feeling like you’re not at your best or like you’re not getting the sleep you need, then it’s time to take action! Sign-up for the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Challenge today!