Healthy Sleep and Rest is about finding the right proportion of downtime, rest and dream time. Learning the habits of healthy sleep can make the difference in achieving optimal health.
It may not seem like such a controversy, but the topic of sleep can be argued. There are opposing views regarding the amount of sleep that is actually necessary for a human to function. Quantity is only half of the equation, as quality of sleep will also make an impact. I remember talking with a client once who was exhausted, but was sleeping up to 12 hours a night. Although, typically, people seem to over-estimate the amount of time they sleep, clearly there was more to the story. After assessment, it was revealed that she had serious sleep apnea and her quality of sleep was suffering.
A lot of research has been gathered regarding sleep deprivation and its effects on performance and decision making. The optimum amount of sleep to minimize potential problems associated with sleep deprivation appears to be 8.16 hours. (Sleep: 2003: 26:117-126). The blog below, “How much sleep do I really need? Am I sleep deprived?” explains how this is a man-made problem that responds to intervention.
Ways to Improve Sleep Habits
Set a time to go to bed. You can even set an alarm on your smart phone to remind you to go to bed! When you get to the bedroom, go to sleep.
Set a ritual for bedtime. Make it a routine.
Avoid caffeinated drinks after noon. Caffeine has a four-hour half life.
Create a bedroom conducive to sleep (pleasant colors, smell, temperature, ventilation) Make it a BED room. Remove unnecessary items, even unnecessary furniture from the BED room. That way when you go to bed, you go to bed!
Avoid exercising in the evening
Do not eat or drink within three hours of bedtime
Avoid alcohol for relaxation/sleep aid.
Keep same sleep schedule during weekdays and weekends.
Do not use your cell phone before bedtime. Do not read your Kindle or i-Phone before bedtime.
A few topics that we will explore on this website regarding Habits of Healthy Sleep:
- How much sleep do I really need? Am I “sleep deprived”?
- Can I Sleep My Way to Weight Loss?
- The Art of Sleep – Healthy habits/environments to promote sleep
- To sleep, perhaps to dream – what sleep is and is not
- How to monitor how much sleep you actually are getting
- Forms to help foster Habits for Sleep and Rest
- How to Dream More…The benefits of a Dream Journal!