Help yourself get a full night's sleep

When counting sheep and drinking warm milk don’t work, what can you do to get the sleep you need?

Although the amount of sleep your body requires varies from person to person, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed in the morning. Lack of sleep can lead to trouble concentrating and remembering things, clumsiness, daytime fatigue, depression and even weight gain. Try these tips to catch your z’s.

  • Avoid caffeine, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Take a hot bath. Your body temperature will adjust, facilitating sleep.
  • Only sleep in bed. Reading and watching television in bed may be comfortable, but it is not coaching your brain to learn that your bed is where you sleep.
  • Exercise regularly to help your body transition between sleep stages smoothly.
  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, you may have trouble breathing while you sleep, preventing you from getting into a sleep cycle.
  • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Alcohol can prevent you from falling into the much-needed deep-sleep stages.
  • Listen to relaxing music while trying to sleep. It will help calm you.
  • Get into a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time to get your body in a habit.
  • Don’t eat too close to bed time. Give your body time to digest before you go to bed.
  • Don’t worry about not sleeping. Thinking about it will just keep you up longer.

If you are having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, contact your doctor.