Have you had too many nights when you are awake at 3 a.m., staring at your ceiling fan? Well, you’re not alone. Nearly 30% of the population has some form of insomnia. But don’t pop a sleeping pill just yet. Here are some suggestions to help you get a full, restful night of sleep.
1. Catch a catnap. Are you afraid that if you nap during the day you will have a harder time falling asleep that night? Not so, say sleep specialists. Taking a 20-40 minute nap during the day will make you ready for sleep come nighttime. However, a nap longer than 40 minutes will have the opposite effect.
2. Pass on the coffee. We all know that caffeine will keep us awake. It takes about 15 minutes or so to kick in, and then the effect can last for hours. To be on the safe side, don’t drink caffeine after 3 p.m.
3. Turn off the television. When there is less light, a hormone is released into our bloodstream making us feel sleepy. If there is synthetic light surrounding us from the television or iPad, we are less likely to have that hormone released. Instead, try listening to an audiobook in dimmed lights.
4. Go for a walk. As if we need another reason to work out, exercise will help you sleep. Regular movement will reduce stress, improve your mood, and literally tire you out. Just make sure that there’s a three-hour window between exercise and bedtime.