Iowa Sleep Blog

Sleep Awareness Week 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Last week was National Sleep Awareness Sleep Week, and the National Sleep Foundation has some tips for better sleep that we think are pretty great. We’ve included them below and added our thoughts.

1. Start making time for the sleep your mind and body needs – Sleep does so many important things for our body, so it’s important to make sure you are getting the recommended amount each night.

2. Leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed – To ensure your digesting stomach doesn’t keep you up at night, be sure to space out dinner (or a heavier after dinner snack) from bedtime by at least two hours.

3. Power down to recharge – The blue light emitted from screens can mess with your natural circadian rhythm and your ability to fall asleep. To achieve your best sleep, power down electronics at least an hour before bedtime, or get into the habit of leaving them out of the bedroom.

4. Make your bedroom all about sleep! – Your bedroom should be your sleep sanctuary. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, a pillow you like, and smoothing colors on the walls, like greens and blues to promote relaxation.

5. Create a bedtime ritual – We should be treating sleep like any other part of our day. Therefore, creating a sleep routine or ritual should be an important part of our evenings. Whether it’s reading a book with a cup of herbal tea or practicing a short yoga sequence to relax, find something that helps you wind down from a busy day.

6. Put your troubles aside and drift away – When we’re stressed or have a lot on our minds, it can be hard to shut off our thoughts. If that’s the case, keep a small notebook near your bed and write down these nagging thoughts or reminders so you can instead focus on sleep instead of your to-do list.

7. Maintain a consistent wake and sleep schedule – One of the best ways to make sure you are sleeping well each night is to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Yes, this even means on the weekends.

If you feel like you’re not sleeping well at night and are not sure why that might be, our sleep doctors can help. We’ll talk to you about your lifestyle habits, sleep routine and other factors that might be keeping you up. If you have a question about sleep that’s been on your mind, ask us through our easy online form, or set up an appointment by calling 855.346.8899.