The transition from day to going to sleep at night is much easier if you develop a nighttime routine and stick to it. A routine is defined as “a prescribed, detailed course of action to be followed regularly; a standard procedure.” If you want to finally find an insomnia treatment that works and improve your ability to have a restful nights sleep, one well founded technique is to do the same activities every night before going to bed. Establishing a pattern will help to quiet and calm both the body and the mind, preparing you for sleep. Knowing what to expect is very comforting to most people and a routine can be a key part of this.
Preparing for bed should be a time for quiet and calm as you wind down the day. Some suggestions for routine activities before bedtime include listening to soothing music, doing light stretches (but not vigorous exercise), taking a bath, practicing deep breathing exercises, meditating or reading a book (but not in bed and something not too suspenseful or arousing).
The same routines that work for you will also work for your children. Your example of a calm, peaceful environment before bedtime will help create the conditions for the entire family to get a good nights sleep. Children often appreciate routines and predictability, so activities like taking a bath or reading a bedtime story can signal that it is time to stop playing and get ready to go to sleep. For some people, falling asleep comes easily and for others, not as much. One technique is to try to go to sleep and get out of bed at the same time everyday. Developing a routine with the same time schedule everyday can help your bodys biological clock know what to expect. If you have a hard time sleeping, you might be tempted to sleep in the next day, but this can lead to more problems that night. Also, on weekends, you might like to stay up late because you do not have to go to work the next day, but this can lead to sleep disturbances on other days of the week. If you are able to teach your body what time to go to sleep, this will help improve your sleeping habits.
Are you a smoker? You might consider quitting. As you probably know, smoking is harmful to your body in many ways. But it can also contribute to sleep difficulties. The main ingredient in cigarettes is nicotine, which is a stimulant. Research has shown that people who smoke heavily dont spend as much time in deep sleep and they are more likely to wake up during the night. Cutting back or quitting altogether can help improve your sleep patterns and the rest of your life as well.
Alcohol is another substance that you will want to limit your consumption of, especially before bedtime. Also, eliminate anything with caffeine in it, such as coffee, teas, soda or chocolate, at least four to six hours before going to sleep. A good rule is to stop drinking or eating these items after 3:00 pm. Remember, some over the counter medications, such as Anacin and Excedrin also contain a fair amount of caffeine. Keep this in mind if you are developing a headache around bedtime. You might want to take another type of medication.
These are just a few of the many techniques that you can use to help you get the rest you need. If you follow these suggestions and create a good sleep routine, it can help you defeat your insomnia. Teach your body to fall asleep quickly so that you can wake up refreshed and alert.