Sunday, June 6, 2010

Peaceful Sleep, Peaceful Dreams

According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 60% of Americans typically do not get a good night's sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to ill-health, poor decision-making, and depression. If you're finding it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or you don't feel refreshed when you wake up, then try some of these tips for healthy sleep:

(1) Try to go to bed at the same time every day. A regular schedule helps to maintain your body's natural circadian rhythm, important for good sleep. Try to wake up at the same time everyday, too.

(2) Create a sleep-inducing environment. Take your computer, television, exercise equipment, and other electronics out of the bedroom. Keep your room comfortable and quiet.

(3) Exercise regularly, but finish your exercise at least 3 hours before going to bed.

(4) Avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime.

(5) A relaxing bedtime ritual can be especially helpful. Turn off the television, computer, or other electronic device at least an hour before going to bed. Then soak in a hot tub, read a book, or listen to soothing music while drifting off to sleep.

More tips for healthy sleeping and other sleep topics can be found at the website for the National Sleep Foundation.