If you or a loved one are having difficulty getting a full night of sleep, it may have something to do with your habits or environment. Try setting the stage for sleep with these tips:
- Keep to a schedule: Your brain’s “circadian clock” is what helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, and it can easily be thrown off when you either sleep in or stay up too late. To keep your “clock” running on the right schedule, maintain a regular bed and wake time, even on the weekends.
- When it’s time to sleep, relax: Creating a relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bathtub, reading a book, or listening to soothing music can help your body and brain wind down and prepare for sleep. During your routine, avoid bright lights and loud noises, and try not to participate in stressful activities like bill paying or problem solving just before bed.
- Create an environment that invites sleep: A dark, comfortable, quiet room free of noise and distractions will help you relax, de-stress, and fall asleep faster.
- Bedrooms are sleep-only zones: These days, many people feel compelled to get a little more work done or catch up on favorite TV shows from the comfort of bed. However, this continued stimulation can induce stress and anxiety, inhibiting you from getting a good night’s rest. Leave computers and TVs in the office and/or living room and use the bedroom for sleep only.
- Avoid caffeine at bedtime: Because caffeine is a stimulant, it produces an alerting effect. Avoid caffeinated beverages at least 6-8 hours before going to bed.
For more tips on how to help a loved one get a healthy, restful night’s sleep, or to learn about respite care services that can help family caregivers avoid the complications of sleep deprivation, contact Visiting Angels of the San Francisco Bay area. Call us at our offices in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 for more information.