If you are like most people, the answer is "No." According to an annual sleep in America poll, 60% of respondents experience sleep problems every night or almost every night. That's alot of people! The study also highlighted how 90% of people use some type of tech device with a screen one hour or less before going to bed. They highlighted the effect that electronic screens have on alertness and how they actually inhibit sleepiness.
Getting a good night's sleep MUST be a major act for your self ring. Too many people try to deny it and end up limiting their success in one or more of their other rings. What's so frustrating is that next to "how to eat well" we know so much about how to get a good night's sleep. But, I'm as guilty as everyone else in not always following best sleep practices. So to remind myself (and maybe you too) of what I need to do to better insure a good night's sleep, here's my list of things to help increase the chances of getting better rest:
- Don't eat anything less than two hours before bedtime. If you must eat something, choose fresh fruit like bananas, grapes or an orange.
- Get things worked out. Don't go to bed with unresolved conflict with a child or spouse. If you can't get the issue to a level that will let you rest easy, get up and write out your thoughts. Then look back over them before actually talking with the person about the situation.
- Laugh. I must confess that one way I find to relax before turning in is to find an old episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos" and just laugh and chuckle for about 15 minutes. Even if the video is only moderately funny, the old hairstyles, etc. are enough to make you laugh. Yes, I know it's looking at a "technical device." But I limit myself to 15 minutes or less.
- Fresh linens. Hang your bedspread outside for the day or even drape it across a chair on your porch for a few hours. The fresh smell is extremely relaxing. You probably can't wash your sheets almost every day, but you can put on a clean pillow case more often-and let the fresh smell move you toward sleep.
- Get some fresh air. I find that going outside and removing myself from all the distractions in the house for a few moments helps me unplug. Make it a habit before going to bed. A few deep cleansing breaths are good as well.
- Read something positive or at least something you enjoy reading. Read with your child or even spouse. Listening to someone read-regardless of age-can make you sleepy.
- Get physical exercise earlier in the day. Too many people go to bed mentally exhausted but physically "wound up."
- Plan tomorrow before you go to bed. Make your list and plan your strategy. Don't let your mind try to do it while you sleep.
- Seek professional help. If you believe the problems to sleeping well run deeper, don't be afraid to seek assistance. Remember how you felt the last time you got a good night's sleep? Wouldn't it be good to feel that way more often?
And lastly, kiss your spouse! I can't put my hands on the research now, but I remember reading somewhere that people who consistently kissed their spouse goodnight before turning in actually slept better than those who didn't.