Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to the quality of sleep you experience, and if you are suffering from insomnia, there are many steps you can take to change both behaviors and lifestyle to help you get to sleep.
In this post, we’re going to share some tips from our Kansas City Sleep Specialist, Dr. Abid Bhat, that will have you sleeping well at home in no time.
- Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day – This is a big one on our list; indeed, we know that it’s tempting to sleep late on weekends, especially after a particularly tough work week or if you experienced poor sleep habits during those days. But if you suffer from sleeplessness, you should try to wake at the same time every day in order to train your body to get up at a consistent time.
- Do Away with Alcohol and Stimulants Such as Caffeine and Nicotine – The effects of caffeine can last for several hours, sometimes up to 24 hours, so the chances of the substance affecting sleep patterns are significant. Caffeine may not only cause difficulty with initiating sleep, it may also cause frequent awakenings. And while alcohol may exhibit a sedative effect for the first few hours following consumption, it can lead to frequent awakenings and quite the un-restful night’s sleep. Some medications that act as stimulants, such as asthma inhalers or decongestants, should be analyzed by your doctor so far as their effects on sleep are concerned.
- Limit Naps – Taking that little cat nap in the middle of the day is always a scrumptious idea, isn’t it? Well, while it may seem like a good way to catch up on missed sleep, this is not always the case – it is important to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern and train yourself to associate sleep with cues such as a consistent bedtime and darkness. We can tell you from vast experience that napping affects the quality of nighttime sleep.
- Exercise Regularly – Did you even think that exercise would be related to sleep quality? It’s true. Regular intervals of exercise can improve your quality of sleep and duration; however, we usually advise against exercising immediately before bedtime because this could have a stimulant-like effect on your body. Try to wrap up your exercise regimen at least three hours before you plan to get under those blankets for the night.
- Limit Bed Activities – The bed is for sleeping and having intimate moments with your significant other…and that’s it. Seriously, though, if you suffer from insomnia, don’t make phone calls, study or balance the checkbook while in bed (or even while you’re in the bedroom), and avoid listening to the radio or watching television, as these activities ramp up your alertness and make it difficult to fall asleep.
If you decide to try these aforementioned tips and find they’re not really working as you expected, get in touch with an insomnia doctor or call the sleep specialist Kansas City has been waiting for, Sweet Sleep Studio, at (913) 309-5963.