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Tips for a good nights sleep

There are a number of factors that may increase your risk for insomnia and by addressing these you may improve your sleep quality and quantity.

 

  • Establish and maintain a regular time for going to bed and rising (rising at the same time is important) Best to retire no later than 11pm
  • Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight in morning on waking
  • Get up when you wake up – don’t linger in bed
  • No coffee after lunch or any caffeine after 2 pm
  • Avoid drinking soft drinks
  • Your neck / back / shoulders might need some attention (consider seeing a physiotherapist – www.gracevillephysio.com.au)
  • Eat light meals at night – your body needs to use its energy to rejuvenate itself rather than spend the night digesting food you have eaten
  • At night dim the lights, turn on low watt lamps and turn down T.V. etc.
  • Avoid tyramine foods after 5pm (aged foods)
  • Avoid eating starches after 5pm
  • Make sure the bedroom is completely dark and free from noise (consider ear plugs, eye mask, blockout curtains)
  • Create a sleep promoting environment that is comfortable (cool, quiet, dark.)
  • Avoid using an electric blanket (or warm up then unplug from wall)
  • Electrical appliances and mobile phones should be at a distance of one metre or more from bed
  • Avoid watching TV in bed
  • Avoid cigarettes 2 hours before bed, or even better – QUIT!
  • Avoid exercising too late at night
  • Avoid naps late in the afternoon, If you need a “Power nap” during the day, 20 minutes before 2pm is OK, only if need.
  • Nasal breathing is essential/close your mouth! Breathing nasal strips can open up nasal passages (from chemist)
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine/ritual so that you start to connect these prebed activities (such as a bath, or listening to certain music) with a winding-down sensation, and then doing them or even thinking about them will make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
  • Learn ways to manage stress. Consider talking to a counsellor?
  • There may be other factors contributing to poor sleep – so speak to your Naturopath, Nutritionist or Doctor if insomnia persists. For more information on some of the testing we have available, have a look at this link – Sleep Profile Test.

The biggest challenge is to try not to worry about your lack of sleep, as this just creates extra pressure on you to fall asleep, perpetuating insomnia.

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