How to Troubleshoot Your Lack of Restful Sleep
In order to improve rest, it is important to assess your current sleep habits. Keeping a sleep log gives a starting place for improvement. Documenting your sleep habits for a period of time can often uncover a pattern with naps, exercise, or evening beverages affecting sleep. Sometimes simple changes in lifestyle habits can significantly improve your sleep quality.
After assessing your current habits, we move into sleep preparation. It may sound a little silly but setting the stage for a good night’s sleep is very important. Creating a cool, dark, comfortable and clutter-free place of rest can help considerably. Tools such as a cooling mattress pad (Ooler), sound machine, or a weighted blanket can be helpful. Controlling disruptions is a part of this step. We recommend setting your phone to silent/do not disturb or even better keeping it out of the bedroom. One emotionally difficult task is retraining our pets to sleep in a crate or animal bed rather than in your bed. Often, both you and your pet will sleep better and feel cozier. Also, syncing up bedtimes with your sleeping partner can decrease sleep interruption.
Finally, we need to understand that there is no “correct” amount of sleep and remember that sleep is a very complex and unique process for each individual. Each person’s situation is different and may need to be addressed in a different way, reassessed and tweaked often multiple times. It is important to work with your primary care doctor or sleep specialist if you struggle with sleep. We can’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep as one of the primary foundations of your health and wellness!
I will never forget what one of my patients said to me many years ago. She said starting in early November you just “press go” meaning, it’s a big push from Thanksgiving planning on through New Years. For some of us, this is a wonderful time. From the moment we press...
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