Sleep is in the air. The World Association of Sleep Medicine has designated today World Sleep Day to try and draw attention to sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that leads to poor sleep. Last week, the National Sleep Foundation sponsored Sleep Awareness Week 2014 with the slogan “Sleep well, feel good, do better” and a focus on the family.
People are beginning to realize that eating right and exercising isn’t all there is to staying healthy. Sleep is just as important. It’s hard to break bad habits, but when it comes to sleep it’s worth the effort. Below are some guidelines from WASM for improving your shuteye:
1. Establish a regular bedtime and waking time.
2. If you are in the habit of taking naps, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime, and do not smoke.
4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
7. Use comfortable, inviting bedding.
8. Find a comfortable sleep temperature setting and keep the room well ventilated.
9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
10. Reserve your bed for sleep, avoiding its use for work or general recreation.