Insomnia and sleep problems are a huge reality, but here are some positive findings on what we can do make our sleep count and feel refreshed for the day ahead.
Many of us do not just have trouble sleeping, we have trouble waking up too. We fragment our sleep by setting alarms earlier than we need to and rudely jolt ourselves awake with disruptive beeps, buzzes and “snooze” alerts. Sleep specialists say we would do better with the extra hour of sleep and opening our eyes to a positive wake up experience ( The Snooze Factor ).
Experts are unanimous on the power of light to create this pleasant experience. There is evidence that waking up gradually in response to light gives us day-long benefits. Says Michael J. Decker, a sleep specialist and Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, “The presence of light prior to awakening has been shown to increase our body’s level of cortisol, a neurohormone that helps to prepare our brain and body for the stressors of the day.” Extra light and cortisol in the morning allow people to adapt better to stress throughout the day, helping them deliver peak performance.
Here are some additional insights and recommendations for better rest.
ü Maintain regular sleep-wake cycles. This way you stay in harmony with your circadian rhythms
ü Invest in good bedding
ü Create a calm and tranquil sleep zone
ü Wind down before sleep time
ü Write down everything that is bothering you before bedtime. This may allow you to temporarily set aside these issues when it is time to sleep
ü If you cannot sleep, get up for a little while and move to another room. This helps you to think about the bedroom as a place to sleep, not to toss and turn
ü Check out for medical causes
ü Take a good look at your bed partner
ü Track your sleeping patterns
ü Consider getting a natural sleep-aid device