Natural Life Choices®, Inc
Health & Wellness Coach
Sleep needs and sleeping behavior vary from person to person. Some people may not sleep enough because of not scheduling enough hours of sleep, which is not the same as insomnia. In today’s hectic society, people forget about the value of sleep. However, we need rest to function. There are several factors which contribute to how well we sleep, including what and when we eat and drink (nutrition), where we sleep (environment), and our energy output during the day (daily rhythms). There are several steps that we can take to improve our quality of sleep.
Here are several recipes that may improve our sleep hygiene:
· Create a relaxing sleep environment – avoid working in bed or the bedroom, reduce noise, and create a dark environment with room temperatures between 60 and 680F (15.6 to 200C).
“After I lock the doors at night, I will turn down the thermostat to sixty degrees.”
· Follow a consistent sleep schedule – go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day.
“After I hear my alarm in the morning, I will get up without hitting snooze.”
· Follow a soothing bedtime routine – pursue relaxing, quiet activities for 30 to 60 minutes before bed. These might include reading, a warm bath or shower, a relaxation or meditation practice, or listening to relaxing music.
“After I get into bed and I’m not sleepy, I will open a relaxing book to read in a dimly lit room.”
· Limit exposure to bright light, especially blue light – avoid exposure to electronic devices and television screens as bedtime approaches.
“After I see it’s past 8 p.m., I will stop using electronics and staring at screens.”
· Expose yourself to natural light early in the day- bright sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythm, so people feel wakeful during the day and sleepy at night.
“After I finish eating lunch, I will go outside into the natural light of the sun.”
· Exercise daily- regular exercise is associated with better sleep quality.
“After I clean up from dinner, I will go for a walk.”
· Avoid caffeine and alcohol – some people have to give up caffeine entirely for better sleep, some should reduce intake and determinate their tolerance. Alcohol interferes with healthful sleep patterns. While alcohol can cause people to fall asleep more quickly, sleep patterns during the second half of sleep can be disrupted by periods of wakefulness and less deep sleep.
“After I see it’s past 3 p.m., I will drink water instead of coffee.”
· Avoid eating a large meal too close to bedtime- two hours is usually enough time for the stomach to empty, although emptying rates vary from person to person and with meal volume. Fluids should also be avoided close to bedtime to reduce the need to use the bathroom at night.
“After I finish dinner, I will immediately brush my teeth in order to stop snacking in the evening.”
If you want to learn about improving sleep using the Tiny Habits® Method, please see:
All the best,
BJ Fogg, P. (2020). The Tiny Habits + the small changes that change everything. Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The professional's guide to health and wellness coaching. (n.d.). San Diego: ACE.
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