I’ve been having a tough time getting any kind of quality sleep lately. Maybe it’s my age as some have alluded to. I hear that as you age you may have a change in your sleep pattern. This probably coincides with the change in your bladder habits.
Can I get a witness?
Nonetheless, there have been times when I find myself up at 2:30 a.m. and unable to fall back to sleep. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the somewhat normal stresses of job and family commitments, or my quirky eating habits (sometimes dinner is more at the late-night snacking hour), or the fact that my brain seems to never quit thinking about stuff.
OK, maybe it has a little to do with all that.
The truth is, much of America is operating in a sleep-deprived state. More and more people seem to have something going on every minute of the day. And for some folks, there’s just not enough time to complete all that has to be accomplished.
Trying to meet the needs of work, kids, grandkids, your better-half and sometimes even parents and grandparents, it’s no wonder sleep is a rare commodity these days. Oh, and maybe a little time for yourself would be nice too.
A lot of things can come between you and a good night’s sleep. To start establishing better sleep habits try a few of these recommendations:
First, find that magic number of hours that you need to feel rested and refreshed. People differ as to how much sleep they need each day. If I get 6.5 to 7 hours of quality sleep I am good-to-go for the rest of the day. Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night.
Create a sleep routine and stick to it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can make-up on missed-sleep. Once you miss it, it’s gone. Long weekend sleep-ins and naps usually just complicate the matter and inhibit your ability to get a quality night’s rest.
Our bodies need a schedule and operate better when there is a routine pattern of sleep. If you go to bed at 10:30 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m. during the week stick to the same schedule on the weekend.
A routine for meal-times is just as important. This is where I seem to falter quite a bit. Sometimes I’ll eat dinner at 6 p.m. and other nights it’s at 9:30 p.m. I definitely sleep better when I eat earlier in the evening.
And of course the three bad vices, nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, can also affect your quality of sleep. Limit your use of these items when closing in on bedtime.
If you exercise — and I hope you do — engage in your activity prior to dinner if at all possible. Late night workouts will stimulate both your body and mind. It is important to turn off your brain about an hour before you retire for the evening.
This is another area that challenges me. I have to stop checking my email and text messages by a certain time in the evening or I end up not being able to fall asleep because my mind is already churning out work for the next day.
Ending the day with a time of meditation, prayer or something peaceful will usually help you fall asleep. Sleep well my friends.
Rich DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Contact him at 912-531-7867 or on the web at www.thesuitesatstationexchange.com.