Just like stress, lack of sleep can make your brain sluggish. When you are sleeping, the body is re-charging. To feel rested, the average person needs about 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Insomnia (trouble getting to sleep or falling asleep), busy schedules, and children may make it hard to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, too little sleep causes the same effects as stress: difficulty concentrating, problem-solving, and forgetfulness.
Counting sheep may not help you drift off to sleep but these suggestions might:
- Create a bedtime routine: take a bath, brush your hair, turn off lights, put the kids to bed, etc.
- Set a time to start your bedtime routine to help you wind down and relax
- Empty your bladder before bedtime
- Don’t drink or eat foods containing caffeine within 3-6 hours of bedtime
- Manage stress with some of the suggestions above
- Avoid napping during the day
- Do 20-30 minutes of physical activity each day
- Darken your room
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid TV at bedtime
If you try these tips and still have trouble sleeping, contact your healthcare provider. Together you can find a solution to your sleeping problems.