Summer’s here — the sun is shining and it’s time to relax. Drifting off to sleep when the heat and humidity kick in can actually be more difficult than it sounds, especially for people who don’t have air conditioning.
Maintaining a cool bedroom temperature is just one of many ways the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends people can get a better night’s sleep. Here are a few other strategies from the NSF report “Recommendations for a Healthy Sleep”:
Make your day work for you: Morning exposure to sunlight, daily exercise and a consistent routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time will help program your body to wind down when it’s time to sleep. Calming activities, such as leisure reading, will also help you relax and ease the transition into deeper sleep.
Create a sleep sanctuary: Dim the lights in the evening to tell your body bedtime is approaching and sleep in a dark room. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from all the stresses of the day. Keep it cool, quiet and free from distractions.
While room lights, TV, computers and other electronics illuminate our worlds well beyond nightfall and give us the ability to stay active after dark, scientists are now contemplating how this prolonged exposure to light might interfere with our bodies’ naturally-programmed sleep patterns. In other words, computers, cell phones and work assignments should be out of sight.
Have a backup plan: Lessen the pressures of trying to fall asleep by selecting a calming activity that’s right for you. If you’re not sleepy, simply get out of bed and do something relaxing in dim light. Return to bed only when you are sleepy.
Talk to your doctor if sleeplessness persists: Sometimes lifestyle changes and behavioral approaches are not enough to correct the issue.
A variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available to treat occasional sleeplessness. For example, ZzzQuil, from the makers of Vicks NyQuil, is a non-habit-forming sleep-aid that can help you fall asleep and get a good night’s rest. For more tips on getting a better night sleep, visit www.zzzquil.com.