Are you getting enough sleep? Do you feel rested in the morning? Energetic? Ready to tackle the day?

This time of year things can get busy and good sleep can be one of the first things to suffer in the name of getting shit done or thinking about all the shit that needs to get done or attending holiday parties or preparing for holiday parties…you know what I mean.

But good sleep is so good for is, it doesn’t pay to ditch it.

I know that when I get enough sleep I don’t feel as stressed, anxious, or worried; my pain intensities and thresholds are lower; I feel more alert and able to attend to things that need attending to; and I’m just plain in a better mood (that’s not just good for me, that’s good for every body!).

Yay, sleep! You’re like magic.

Now, I don’t want you to stress out about getting enough sleep, either, though. We all need sleep but we all have different sleep needs.

But if you feel like you could use a bit more sleep, or a bit more restful sleep, I’ve included some suggestions that have worked for me. The suggestions come from reputable sources but though it is well known that poor sleep and chronic health conditions are linked, we don’t know why or which comes first. We also don’t know what optimal sleep is yet! Or what makes for optimal sleep.

But we do know that sleep is good and necessary, so if one these suggestions seems like it may work for you, give it a go! Try it out for a a week or two and see how you feel.

Some “Get Some Better Sleep” Suggestions:

1. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier. Or sleep in 15 minutes later. Go to bed and get some sleep!

2. Got to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Even weekends (or at least keep it close).

3. Shut down devices (phones, tablets, computers, etc) an hour before bed. Shut down the t.v. for extra bonus points.

4. Do things that are relaxing in the hour before bed and make it a routine. Take a shower, read a book, meditate,  stretch, listen to relaxing music – just take some time to wind down and get sleepy before hitting the sack.

5. Don’t bring devices into the room with you. Having your cell phone in the room can keep you up and distracted, even if it’s not doing anything. If you feel you have to have it in there, put it in a drawer or keep it out of arms reach so you’re not tempted to just peek at it for no reason.

6. Keep the room as free of artificial light as possible. Cover bright lights on electronics or alarm clocks and block out street lights with blinds.

7. If you can’t fall asleep within a half hour, get out of bed. Break the cycle! When we stay in bed we start to ruminate about all the sleep we need and that we’re not currently getting (if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW, I’ll still get 6 hours of sleep. If I fall asleep RIGHT NOW, I’ll still get 5 1/2 hours of sleep. If I fall asleep RIGHT NOW….).

These endless and unhelpful thoughts can further prevent us from being able to fall asleep and just stress us out. Get out of bed. Go read. Or write out those thoughts that are keeping you up. Or do some deep breathing. (don’t watch t.v.! And don’t do something too physically or mentally challenging – it’ll just keep you up!)

8. Keep it dark and cool in the room. Keeping the room cooler and having enough blankets to keep you warm (or kick off if you get hot) gives you better control over your comfort levels.Sleep - it's important, don't skimp!

9. Don’t drink too close to bedtime. Caffeine may keep you up, ditto for alcohol. And any liquid may make you have to get up to pee in the middle of the night and disrupt your sleep. (but don’t go to bed thirsty, either. Then you’ll just lie there thinking about how thirsty you are.)

10. Don’t eat a large meal too close to bedtime. Light snacks are alright, and may even help some folks.

11. Your bed should only be used for sleeping and sex.

And two daytime activities that can help with sleep at night:

12. MOVE YOUR BOOTY. Exercise during the day can promote good sleep at night.

13. GET OUTSIDE. Being exposed to natural light can also promote good sleep at night.

I hope some of these help you sleep a little better.

Try and get really good sleep those nights your not entertaining or being entertained. Once the holidays are over, try and make getting good sleep a priority.

If you’re waking up rested and happy, you’re doing alright. Keep it up.

If your not, try and change up something in your sleep routine to see if it helps.

As always, thanks for reading my post! Happy holidays!

 

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