Catch some ZZZs

catch some sleep7

Sleep is vital for keeping your body healthy and functioning at its best, but sometimes getting good sleep can be very challenging! Here are six tips and tricks to help you fall and stay asleep when counting sheep just isn’t working.

1. Routine

Your body responds well when you keep to a schedule. It is challenging for your body to adapt and feel sleepy when bedtime one night is 8pm and another night bedtime is midnight! This can be difficult especially during summer when your days aren’t as planned as they are during school, but trying to wake up and go to sleep at the same times each day will work wonders for your sleep health

2.  Beds are only for sleeping

We are creatures of habit and our bodies develop physiological responses based on those habits. You can trigger your body to release the chemicals that help you feel sleepy if every time you get into bed you start to relax and try to fall asleep. If you regularly read, watch TV, or hang out in your bed your body won’t recognize laying in bed as a signal that you are ready to relax and fall asleep.

3. If you aren’t asleep in 20 minutes, get up!

We have all had restless nights when you feel like no matter how hard you try you just cannot fall asleep. Laying in bed wide awake for long periods of time increases anxiety and frustration making it more difficult to fall asleep; try getting back out of bed for 5 to 10 minutes. Try some deep breathing or yoga to relax and reset then give sleeping another shot.

4. Yoga or Meditation

Mindfulness and relaxation before bedtime can help to relax your body physically as well as help to clear your mind of stresses and nagging thoughts. Progressively tensing up your muscles and then allowing them to relax aids in powering down your body in preparation for sleep. There are tons of short yoga or guided meditation videos online, or come up with your own routine!

5. Put Away the Screens

Cell phones, TVs and computers (basically all screens!) emit wavelengths of light that increase your alertness and prevent your body from releasing the hormones that make you feel sleepy. Experts recommend putting away all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. What can you do instead of watching your favorite show before bed? Try reading, listening to soothing music or do something relaxing like coloring a picture.

6. Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a naturally occurring drug that is considered a stimulant because it produces alertness and delays onset of sleep. It is found in many foods and drinks like coffee, some types of tea, chocolate, soda and energy drinks. Individuals process caffeine at different rates so it is important to pay attention to your own body to know how long caffeinated drinks affect you. Overall, it is recommended to not each or drink anything with caffeine for 4-6 hours before going to bed.

For more information on sleep hygiene go to:

Yoga and meditation videos for sleep:

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