Sleep is a critical part of your overall health. The National Institutes of Health recommends seven to eight hours of sleep a night for most adults. Children and teenagers need even more. Yet many get far less than this. At our health and wellness center in Springfield, LA, we work with numerous patients who struggle to get sufficient sleep. If you are suffering, sleep regulation techniques can help. If you’re struggling to get this amount, here are some strategies that might help.
1. Get Active During the Day
The more active you are during the day, the more your body feels prepared for sleep at night. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day. Even if all you do is take a short walk, the exercise will help. Activity can also help combat neurological and neurodegenerative disorders and help you support your wellness goals.
2. Avoid Naps
During the day, especially in the evening hours, avoid napping. Napping can destroy your natural sleep rhythms, and make it more difficult to fall asleep in the evening. If you must nap, try to do so early in the day instead of late in the afternoon.
3. Have a Set Bedtime and Wake Time
One of the most helpful tips for sleep regulation is to keep a consistent bedtime. If you can, set the same bedtime each night. This habit trains your body that it’s time to sleep when bedtime rolls around.
When you go to bed, follow the same routine. Also, make sure you do not go to sleep more than eight hours before you want to wake up. Finally, in the hour or two before bedtime, avoid screen use and stressful activities, but instead focus on calming things that prepare your mind and body for sleep.
Similarly, try to get up at the same time every day. Even on weekends, keeping a set “wake time” will train your body about when to sleep.
4. Gradually Adjust to a Sleep Schedule
If you currently have erratic sleep patterns, you need to adjust slowly to a new sleep schedule. If you need to go to bed earlier, start heading that way a few minutes earlier each night until the new time is routine. By practicing gradual sleep regulation, your body will more naturally adjust to your new routine.
5. Don’t Lay in Bed for Hours
If you’ve headed to bed at your set sleep time, only to find that you can’t fall asleep, get up. Do something quiet for a little bit, and try again. Some ideas to try include:
- Reading in another room
- Doing a calm craft
- Sitting in a chair
- Writing a note to someone
Staying in bed to read or toss and turn will hurt your efforts at training your body to sleep. Get up and try again in a little bit until you fall asleep within 20 minutes.
6. Use Sunlight
Your body’s natural sleep clock works with the sun. If you do not get a lot of sunlight, consider changing your habits. Open the curtains to let the sun in during the morning hours, and you will naturally wake up more quickly.
Soak in as much sunshine as you can during the day. This practice will help set your body’s natural clock. Then, when it is dark and time to sleep, your body naturally feels ready for rest.
Need Help with Sleep Regulation in Springfield?
Sleep regulation is an integral part of your overall wellness and mental health care. If you are struggling with the amount of sleep you’re getting, your mood and mental health and overall wellness will both suffer. Springfield Wellness Center can help. Reach out to us at 844.334.4727 to learn more about our sleep regulation services. Let us show you how we can help you get a good night’s sleep.