By Karen Preskenis Perrin, wellness coach
Creating an environment for healthy sleep
Savoring the brilliance of fall fosters gratefulness as you notice the colors, smells, and clear, fresh air. This can shift you towards a greater sense of ease and well-being. When crawling into bed tonight, those moments of ease and gratefulness might be just what you need to rest well.
Lowering our daily stress through a sense of appreciation is just one of the lifestyle areas that support better sleep. If you want or need to improve your sleep, the ideas below can help. If you are still not getting the quality and length of sleep you desire, check in with your health care provider or wellness coach for individualized support.
Ways to get on track for your best sleep:
- Get regular exposure to daylight.
- Manage your stress. Talk to someone; journal; see a counselor; laugh; listen to calming music; pray or meditate; or try simple stretching and breathing exercises.
- Stay active and move your body during the day but avoid high intensity exercise several hours before bed.
- Pay attention to the food you eat and when you eat. Eat colorful foods that nourish you. Meals high in carbohydrates eaten late in the day can make you feel hungry at night and interfere with sleep.
- Maintain a consistent time for going to sleep and waking up.
- Avoid caffeine, large meals, or alcohol close to bedtime.
- Low stimulation before bedtime is helpful. Dim the lights in the evening. If you are on a computer or watching TV, consider glasses that block blue light. Blue light is emitted from most electronics and has been found to be stimulating. Get a program on your device that blocks blue light or shift your device into “night mode” as a way to minimize this stimulating wavelength.
- Try a cool room or, if needed, a cool mattress cover on your bed. If you share a bed, consider a mattress cover that allows each person to adjust their own side to a temperature that suits their needs. Search online for cooling mattress toppers.
- To fall asleep some people seek sound and others want silence. Adjust accordingly and use earplugs, a sound maker, or quiet calming music. There are some apps that can help with relaxation as way to fall asleep such as CALM or HeadSpace.
- Consistency in your bedtime and wake time is best to help your body prepare to go to sleep each night.
How you navigate each day impacts your sleep and getting good sleep can make all the difference in having a positive, productive day.
Tip: Choose three things from this list and make changes this week. Notice if you are able to fall asleep and stay asleep longer by making these changes.