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Do You Have Tips On Getting A Good Night's Sleep?

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Most people enjoy a good night's sleep; however, for whatever reason, there are periods of time in nearly everyone's life when sleep becomes a struggle.

Sleep performs a very vital restorative function to the body. When the normal sleep pattern is interrupted for any length of time, it can have negative physical and psychological consequences. We need a fairly regular sleep pattern to function our best as employees, parents, students, spouses or in whatever other roles we play.

Infants require more sleep than children, and children need more than adults. Most adults require six to eight hours of sleep a night, but some need even more than eight.

If you are experiencing difficulty in getting a good night's sleep, here are some suggestions:

  • Keep a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. According to research on sleep disorders, people sleep best if the room temperature is between 64 and 66 degrees.
  • Avoid consuming food or drink with caffeine or anything with a high sugar content within approximately three hours of bedtime. Both tend to speed up the system.
  • Try to avoid naps. Daytime naps seldom help sleep disorders. If you find yourself sleepy at noontime or immediately following a meal, try a brisk walk to get going again. Naps tend to disrupt night-time sleep.
  • Establish a set time for retiring to bed and waking in the morning. The body functions best on established routines.
  • Do not go to bed early on a given night because you did not sleep well the night before or because you have a big day the next day. Regular times for going to bed and getting up will produce more sleep than trying to catch up on or stockpile sleep.
  • Do something pleasant and relaxing before retiring for the night. This might include reading, listening to music, pleasant conversation or watching television.
  • Create a pre-bedtime ritual. This will help you to psychologically prepare for sleep. Things such as taking a warm shower or bath, brushing your teeth, locking the doors and telling family members goodnight are all good patterns to let your system know you are getting ready to sleep.
  • Use the bedroom only for what it was designed. Lying in bed reading or watching television may make it difficult for the body to wind down.

Posted on 15 Aug 2006

Glen Jenson
Family and Human Development Specialist

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