Self Help Lesson #11 How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep To Improve Quality Of Life

How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The following guidelines are recommended to help you improve both the quality and the amount of your sleep.  Exercise during the day , preferably in the late afternoon before dinner.  Aerobic exercise (20) minutes is better, but 45 minutes to an hour of brisk walking will suffice.

  1. Go to bed and get up at regular times, even if you’re tired in the morning. Don’t vary your time of going to bed or getting up.  Getting up half an hour earlier in the morning may  help you get to sleep that night.
Ideas:
1. Check with your nutritionist/pharmacist to research herbs like Valerian Root, or Melatonin, or passion fruit herbal tincture, or Kava-Kava as sleep helps.
2.   Avoid heavy  meals before bedtime, or going to bed hungry (a small snack before bedtime might be helpful).
  1. Don’t try to make yourself sleep. If you’re unable to fall asleep after 20-30 minutes in bed, leave your bed, engage in some relaxing activity (such as watching TV, sitting in a chair and listening to a relaxation tape, or having a cup of herb tea) and do not return to bed until you’re sleepy.
  2. Avoid alcohol consumption in the evening. Avoid heavy alcohol consumption anytime during the day.
  3. Turn yourself down during the last hour or two of the day. Avoid vigorous physical or mental activity, emotional upsets, and so on.
Ideas:
Purchase a brainwave tape/CD to play as part of your sleep ritual.
Brainwave Suite combines synthesizers, shakuhachi flutes, Tibetan bells and acoustic guitar with actual sounds of nature to produce soothing, relaxing music which enhances the effect.
  1. Reduce caffeine and nicotine consumption as much as possible. If you must have coffee, have it only in the morning.
  2. Develop a sleep ritual before bedtime. This is some activity you do every night before you get into bed.  A hot shower or bath before bedtime may help you relax.
  3. Eliminate non sleep activities in bed ( such as work or reading) to strengthen the association between sleeping and bed – unless these activities are part of your sleep ritual.
  4. Avoid napping during the day.
  5. Reduce noise through the use of ear plugs or a noise-making machine.
  6. Keep your room temperature between 60 – 70 degrees. Too warm or cold a room tends to interfere with sleep. Wear loose clothing to bed.
  7. Don’t let yourself be afraid of insomnia. Work on accepting those nights when you don’t sleep as well. You can still function the next day, even if you had only a couple hours of sleep.  The less you fight, resist, or fear sleeplessness, the more it will tend to go away.

Adapted from :  The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne, PhD.

2 thoughts on “Self Help Lesson #11 How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep To Improve Quality Of Life

  1. My wife started forcing me to sleep early and wake up early to work out with her in the morning, before heading out to work. It felt tedious, but once my sleep time settled, it was quite refreshing.

  2. Nasty habit of mine to check my work just before going to bed, and frantically hustle to get it done so I can be as prepared as I can. And then, it’s 3am… I think my body clock is screwed. If I try to sleep at normal hours, I’d be tossing and turning on my bed for a few hours.

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