As October begins we are already officially into autumn, the nights get darker sooner, and the clocks will soon fall back an hour. There may also be irregularities caused by some things in your lifestyle. All these things can throw off your sleep.
Check some of the following to see if these could be causing you to feel fatigued or have trouble sleeping. I will be avoiding the obvious such as caffeine and smoking.
Don’t throw off your body clock by taking too long of a nap during the day. Make it a power nap of less than 30 minutes.
Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after awakening. This will help to regulate your body’s natural biological clock. Likewise, try to keep your bedroom dark while you are sleeping so that the light will not interfere with your rest.
Exercise in the morning or afternoon instead of evening. Exercise stimulates the body and can make it difficult to sleep.
Avoid alcohol as it may help you feel sleepy at the start but can interrupt normal sleep patterns.
Your sleep environment should be comfortable. Here are things you can do create a restful place.
Keep the bedroom for bedroom activities only.
Don’t sit in bed and pay bills, do work, etc. Help the mind realize that the primary purpose is to get rest when there.
Keep the temperature consistent. Adjust the amount of bedding to compensate for temperature changes instead of the thermometer.
Speaking of the bedding. Don’t have the sheets tucked too tight. If they are, you won’t be able to roll over as easily and are more likely to waken as you try.
White noise machines can provide a constant soothing sound that can eliminate you from subconsciously focusing on outside noise that disrupts your sleep cycles should you happen to live in an urban environment.
It is also good to have some little ritual that you always do before going to bed. It may be a cup of herbal tea, an ocean sound CD, or simply reading before going to bed. Doing a ritual prepares you psychologically for sleep.
Let’s face it, sometimes sleep just wont come!
The worst thing is to lay there for an extended period of time letting anxiety build up as you try to will yourself asleep. It’s time to pop out of bed and nibble (not feast) on a piece of turkey. Ever wonder why you want to take a nap on Thanksgiving? Turkey contains tryptophan, a major building block for making serotonin, a neurotransmitter, which sends messages between nerve cells and causes feelings of sleepiness. Saltine crackers can work too. Either of those with a little reading should get you drowsy.