Restful Recovery - Sleep Better, Feel Better
Sleep hygiene consists of a set of behaviors and environmental settings designed to promote good, restorative sleep. In a society where productivity reigns and we try to cram as many activities into our waking hours as possible, what we really need is a period of restfulness to recharge and restore balance. Getting a good night’s sleep can help the body heal, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve overall health and productivity during our waking hours.
Here are a few helpful tips for creating better sleep hygiene habits:
- 1Get some exercise each morning to help promote better quality sleep at night.
- 2Limit screen time, especially one hour before bed. Scrolling through your phone or tablet is excess stimulation and can contribute to a racing mind before bed.
- 3Create a bedtime routine that is soothing and promotes quieting the mind and body. Some examples are drinking herbal caffeine-free tea, reading a slow book (an actual paper-bound book, keep screens out of your bedtime routine), and/or hold a few gentle yoga poses.
- 4Find a method of meditation that works for you. Guided meditation or diaphragmatic breathing can help promote relaxation and looking within to find mindfulness can get you geared up for a restful night’s sleep.
- 5Designate your bed as a place for sleep and intimacy only. Do not bring work, screens, or stress into your bed.
- 6Limit caffeinated drinks to earlier in your daily routine as caffeine can keep you awake for several hours after consumption.
- 7Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, this is a healthy habit for developing better sleep hygiene.
- 8Create a soothing bedroom environment with soft lighting options instead of harsh overhead lights, comfortable bedding options that suite the season, and decorate with neutral tones that promote a sense of calm.
- 9In a comfortable position, try progressive relaxation techniques: such as tensing the muscles in your feet and then working up the body to the facial muscles, try to stay focused on the relaxation of the muscles after contracting.
- 10If you cannot sleep or your mind is racing, try not to focus on the time you are losing not-asleep. Instead get out of bed, sit quietly in a chair or read a slow book until you feel tired. Then get back into bed to sleep. You do not want to associate feeling restless with being in bed, so a change of scenery may actually help you sleep better when you climb back into bed.
Disclaimer: If you continue to experience unbearable, reoccurring pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with your physician or join our physical therapy family and allow us to help you regain function.
Iron Health is located in Briarcliff Manor and the greater Westchester NY area; our neighboring towns include Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Tarrytown, Irvington and Pleasantville.
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