How to Get a Good Night’s Rest

Recommended Sleep ChartThe above chart comes from the National Sleep Foundation.    It suggests that an adult my age needs 7-9 hours of sleep.  Like good diet and exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health.

The sleep foundation explains:

“One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. As we go about our day, our brains take in an incredible amount of information. Rather than being directly logged and recorded, however, these facts and experiences first need to be processed and stored; and many of these steps happen while we sleep. Overnight, bits and pieces of information are transferred from more tentative, short-term memory to stronger, long-term memory—a process called “consolidation.” Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.”

Many of us have difficulty sleeping.  Here are some general guidelines to follow in order to have a good night’s rest.

Stick to a sleep schedule , even on weekends.
Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual .
Exercise daily.
Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Beware of hidden sleep stealers , like alcohol and caffeine.
Turn off electronics before bed.

For those with an overactive mind:

Keep a notepad/journal and a pen near your bed to write down thoughts or things you want to remember.

You can also use this method to write down worries or concerns and if you’re having a hard time letting them go after writing them down, remind yourself you can just deal with it in the morning after you wake up.

At my practice:

Sleep problems are a common co-occurring issue that I see with my clients.  I usually help each person develop their own individual bedtime routine.  Many times we look at the therapeutic effects of yoga postures and breath techniques.  We practice these techniques in the office to figure out the right practice that will help calm the mind and body enough to allow sleep to take over at night.  Many times coming up with an answer to the individual’s problems will occur after tracking one’s schedule and diet over a week.  It is amazing what “hidden” sleep stealers we encounter throughout our day.  Sometimes changing something like when you have your last caffeinated beverage will be the miraculous fix.  Other times, what might solve the issue is long-term work on developing and keeping more healthy habits like exercise, balanced diet, and meditation.

If you would like to talk about finding your solution, please contact  Amanda.