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Not feeling sleepy? Try these tips for a good night's rest

Sleep disturbance is a common concern for many people. With busy lives, many people find it difficult to get a good night’s rest. The goal of this post is to provide you with some simple tips to help improve your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

  • The most important tip for better sleep is to go to bed at a regular time and get up at a regular time every day. This includes days off, weekends, holidays, etc. Developing a regular sleep schedule will allow you to improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine prior to sleep. It is difficult to give exact time frames of how early to stop consumption of these substances before you go to bed; however, the time will depend on how much you have consumed and your history of use as well. As a general recommendation, it may be wise to stop caffeine intake at midday and the same for nicotine. Some experimentation may be needed to determine what is most effective for you.

  • Take a warm bath within an hour of sleep. This is likely for the opposite reason than you may think. Warm water will cause a dilation of the blood vessels, especially in the skin, which brings blood to the surface of the skin. Once you leave the bath the blood is then cooled because of its close contact to the skin. Sleep research demonstrates that sleep is improved when the core body temperature is lowered by 1 to 2 degrees.

  • Avoid the use of electronic devices an hour prior to going to bed. The emission of blue light from electronic devices stops the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that is involved with sleep.

  • Stop food consumption within a couple of hours prior to bedtime. Current advice is not to go to bed hungry or feeling full. Both of these can disturb the quality of sleep. Stopping food consumption approximately two to three hours prior to bed would be a good place to start and then experiment with timing from there.

These are just a few suggestions to help improve the quality of sleep. This list is not exhaustive and you are encouraged to try these and any others you may have come across. Let us know if these work for you.

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