Factors that may be Interfering with your Sleep
Before we explore how to alleviate sleep difficulties let’s look at some of the factors that may be interfering with your sleep…..
The remainder of my sleep posts will look at various issues to consider around your sleep habits as well as some strategies to trial.
The suggestions below and in following posts are designed to assist you to develop an improved sleep pattern.
Not all factors will relate to your specific situation.
Your expectations are important – Change takes time and practice – perseverance pays off!
First I will look at Sleep Hygiene – the basic practical factors to consider….
Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine – cut back on caffeine and alcohol especially during late afternoon/evening. Alcohol can assist sleep onset but it can also cause early morning wakefulness. Caffeine and nicotine are heart stimulants that interfere with your ability to sleep. A warm milk drink prior to bed can be helpful as milk contains an amino acid that is converted to a sleep enhancing compound in the brain.
Take a warm (not hot) bath/shower before bed. A hot bath will raise your body temperature and it is a drop in body temperature which leaves you feeling sleepy.
Do not eat a large meal before going to bed – a light snack high in carbohydrates and/or protein may stop you waking because you are hungry.
Ensure your bedroom is a sleep-inducing environment – quiet and dark is best without too much stimulation. A cool room with enough blankets is recommended. Avoid using our bedroom for anything other than sleeping, dressing and sex. Try not to work, eat or watch TV there. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep. It is believed that sleep is a learned response so associating the bedroom and pre sleep routines with winding down and sleeping will assist solid sleep.
Next post : Sleep Routines and What to Consider ….