A lack of sleep reduces our capabilities of dealing with stress. We become cranky, restless, confused and have poor judgment. While we are sleeping, our immune system is healing itself, so that is one of the reasons why we need to get eight hours of sleep each night. Here are eight sleep strategies to getting better rest:
1) Create a healthy sleep environment. Make sure it’s quiet, use earplugs, sleep on a good mattress and try to keep an inviting, uncluttered bedroom.
2) Shut down your overactive mind. I find it beneficial to write down on a pad of paper the things I need to do the next day so I won’t keep thinking about them.
3) Manage your melatonin. Keep it dark in your bedroom and your bathroom, and make sure when you get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, that you are not turning on the lights and waking yourself up.
4) Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and eating heavy meals in the evening. All these things will disrupt your sleep by making it hard for you to fall asleep, causing restless, or waking you up in the middle of the night.
5) Create a regular sleep pattern. Your body does well when you go to bed around the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning.
6) Try to wind down. One hour before going to bed, shift into sleep mode by turning all TV and electronics off. Maybe read a book, meditate or pray.
7) Get some exercise. When we do any kind of exercise, it helps us to sleep better.
8) Stay away from coffee past late afternoon. The caffeine in coffee will keep you up if you drink too much during the day or drink it too late in the afternoon.