Tag Archives: American Academy of Sleep

8 Tips For A Better Sleep

Every night in America we are recharging our phones, and tablets but not necessarily ourselves.

Experts have proclaimed that Americans are in the midst of a sleep-deprivation crisis.

Resulting in a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents along with more instances or anxiety, exhaustion, and depression.

These conditions are causing a severe loss of productivity at work and increase tensions at home.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post and the author of the new book: The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, views the right to a good restful sleep should be a basic human.

Huffington, believes that the right to good sleep should be protected and advocated for like the right not to go hungry, or the right to freedom of expression.

Using guidelines adopted from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Huffington, suggests these 8 tips for a better sleep.

1.Turn off the lights

Nighttime light exposure is one of the main factors affecting the quality of sleep? Light suppresses the body’s natural release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our bodies’ circadian rhythms. A recent study found that exposure to electrical light after dusk reduced pre-sleep melatonin levels by 71%.

2. Avoid electronic devices

Electronics, such as televisions, computers, and mobile phones, actually hinder our natural ability to fall asleep. Besides engaging the mind and producing adrenaline these devices emit artificial light. We need to limit our usage of these devices as we wind down our day; and avoid using them when we are trying to fall asleep.

3. Stick to a schedule

We should seek to follow a healthy and natural sleep/wake cycle. A consistent cycle will encourage better sleep because our schedules influence our circadian rhythms. Rising early in the morning and going to bed early at night is best.  Make it a goal to be asleep by 10 PM as studies show that we get our best sleep before midnight. It is also best to avoid naps during the day as they can interfere with nighttime sleep.

4. Relax and get comfortable

Avoid activities that are too stimulating and find some time to unwind before you go to bed.  Make the extra effort to create a peaceful, comfortable sleeping environment will also make a big difference. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary; focus on making it cool, comfortable, tidy, quiet and dark.

5. Say no to drugs

Believe it or not sleep aids, such as sleeping pills, should be avoided. Even when taken in small amounts sleeping pills can increase the risk of mortality and cancer and some of them can be addictive.

Substances like nicotine, caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided as they are stimulants designed to keep you awake.

If you really need something to help you sleep, try some chamomile tea.

6 Watch what you eat

Our dietary habits influence the quality of our sleep. Eating shortly before bedtime will disturb your sleep as your stomach tries to digest the new food. It’s best to eat your last meal several hours before bedtime.

7. Get active

Daily exercise or physical activity is not only healthy for you, but it helps promote better sleep. People who exercise will sleep easier and deeper throughout the night.  However, be careful about exercising too late at night, as it could boost your energy and make it difficult for you to get to sleep.

8. Prayer

Closing the day by contemplating the day’s blessings and spending time in prayer and meditation is an excellent way to get a peaceful sleep.

Jeremiah 33:3 is a verse of scripture that I mediate on nightly before bed: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”   The verse brings me great comfort allowing me to get a good night sleep.

God wants us to rest in him; we can trust him to guide us through the challenges life throws at us. The peace that God gives will enable us to sleep soundly even in the midst of our hectic schedules.

Final Thoughts

The sleep deprivation crisis that faces the nation, need not be your problem.   You can profoundly improve our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness simply by getting a good night sleep.

Pleasant dreams.