Sunday, 21 November 2010

How to Improve Sleep Quality

How to Improve Sleep Quality

All people need to sleep. Sleep is a restorative process that promotes proper body functioning and can improve the quality of your life. Sleep is not just an "escape"-sleep is an essential part of living. This article will help you review your "sleep hygiene" (a term used to denote what you do before and during your sleep) and suggest ways for you to improve it.

Things You'll Need:
A realistic review of what you do prior to sleeping
A review of how many "catnaps" you take during the day and why
An open and honest discussion with your regular sleeping partner is appropriate

1.  Your bedroom should be shaped to your taste and to allow you to sleep in a peaceful environment. Poor sleeping habits can be resolved if you are willing to look at what you do before you go to sleep, your sleeping environment and other factors. One of the biggest mistakes people make in corrupting their sleep is to use their bedroom for activities other than sleep or sex. If your bedroom also functions as a command station for your life and work, the likelihood of your sleeping being poor is rather high. Bedrooms should be designed, decorated and used for mainly sleep and/or sex. TVs, computers and other gizmos should not be in your bedroom if at all possible.

2.  Establishing regular sleeping and waking times can help improve the quality of your sleep. Review your bedtime activities and rituals. Going to sleep should be a process whereby you begin to disengage from the day to enter into sleep. Having regular (as much as humanly possible) sleep and awake times will assist with setting your sleep routine.
Consider taking the sleep hygiene test for additional information (see Resources below).

3. Avoid spicy food, caffeine, sugar and alcohol at least 4 to 6 hours prior to your sleep time.

4. Develop a regular exercise program. Proper exercise and nutrition will help enhance sleeping patterns. However, avoid exercising 2 hours before sleeping, since this may stimulate your body and make sleeping more difficult.

5. Establish a pre-bedtime ritual that will help focus you on sleep. You can try prayer, meditation, reading or deep breathing and relaxation. Your bedtime ritual should be yours. Do not worry about it fitting into a specific category. Do what is best for you.

6. Block out distracting noises and lights. You are in your bedroom to sleep and not be distracted by environmental interferences.

7. You may want to keep a sleep log that details your sleeping patterns, habits and improvements. This can be used and reviewed each time you find yourself with disrupted sleep patterns to see what has (if anything) changed.

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Tips & Warnings
Sleep hygiene is just one component of getting a good night's sleep. There are medical conditions that may require testing and/or medications. If your sleep does not improve, consult your health care provider.This article is for informational purposes only. A licensed health care provider needs to diagnosis and treat any medical condition, including poor sleep, as necessary.

Read more: How to Improve Sleep Quality |