June 21, 2014

Tired of Being Tired? 5 Ways to Create Better Sleep Habits. ~ Elizabeth Grasher

(Photo: planetchopstick)

The alarm goes off, I let the dog out and turn on my Keurig to get my morning coffee.

I would like more sleep but the morning routine begins.

Although I’m just beginning my day, I’m already feeling tired. This happens frequently.

So, what is there to do?

There are labs set up to study sleep, but before asking for a prescription to a sleep lab why not take a look at our own role in the quality and hours of sleep we receive each night.

In order to improve sleep it is important to evaluate what happened in the the last 24 hours.

A few questions to ask ourselves: Did I engage in strenuous exercise? Did my menstrual cycle begin? Did I eat nutritious food? Did I consume alcohol? Did I encounter a stressful event at work or home?

Tracking daily activities plays a huge role in how we sleep, think and feel. It sounds simple enough, but we often forget to ask ourselves these questions.

These are “rules” to help encourage a restful night of sleep.

1. Avoid caffeinated beverages after 2pm.

2. Refrain from napping.

3. Follow an evening routine to prepare our bodies and minds for rest.

4. Only use the bed for sleep or sex and not for daily activities (i.e. reading, watching television, etc.).

5. Follow bedtime and awakening times 7 days per week, including weekends when we’re away from work.

When I take a look at my daily routine or sleep hygiene habits I realize that while I teach many of them, I frequently don’t follow them myself.

I have the knowledge of these techniques but why don’t I utilize them?

I believe it is similar to the many other healthy habits we should engage in but find ourselves too busy to do so. Activities like exercise, meditation and yoga are things we could implement into our daily routine but we often choose to spend our time on Facebook or watching 60 minutes of television.

It takes effort to implement healthy routines into our lives.

Creating healthier sleeping habits involves time and tracking but overall it will improve our quality of life.

There are phone apps and watches to track daily habits and sleep patterns, but why not turn to mindfulness,and the present to bring peace to our minds and bodies?


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Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Emily Bartran

Photos: planetchopstick/Flickr Creative Commons

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Elizabeth Grasher