Tips for Getting A GREAT Nights Sleep!

Did you know that NEGATIVE sleep impacts performance and recovery?

Are you that person who has been trying to get a good night's rest for a while now? You see your friends and family members doing it. They make it look so easy and they appear so peaceful as they drift into a world of dreams. But for some reason, sleep keeps eluding you. Every time you get close to falling asleep, something happens and you end up wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3:00 AM.

If you do not get enough sleep, your body will underperform and will not be able to recover from any sort of ailment or sickness that you may have. There are many factors that can interfere with a good night's rest - from sleep apnea, to pressure at work and family responsibilities, unexpected life challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues or illnesses. It's no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.

At Boston Center for Oral Health, we would like to arm you with some tips, tricks and secrets for quality sleep. Lack of quality sleep is a leading complaint of our patients, so we have compiled these useful tips to help improve your sleep quality. Give these tips a try and see if they don’t work for you too…

Our TIPS for getting a good nights sleep:

Tip 1: CREATE A ROOM IDEAL FOR SLEEPING

A cool, dark and quiet space is most suitable for quality sleep. Don't crank the temperature up in your bedroom on cool winter nights as you will often wake in a pool of sweat. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since proper bedding is subjective, select a mattress that feels most comfortable to you. If you share your bed, make sure there's enough room for two - plus any pets you may have.

Tip 2: ESTABLISH A NIGHT TIME RITUAL

Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music - preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities, such as meditative Yoga, can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.

Here are some bedtime rituals to help you relax . . .

  • Read a book or magazine by a soft light
  • Take a warm bath
  • Listen to soft music
  • Do some easy stretches
  • Wind down with a favorite hobby
  • Listen to books on tape
  • Make simple preparations for the next day
  • Dim the lights in the hours leading up to bed

Tip 3: AVOID BRIGHT SCREENS within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.

TURN OFF the TV or other electronic devices, an hour before bedtime, as part of your bedtime ritual. Research suggests that screen time, on any device, before bedtime interferes with sleep. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.

Tip 4: STICK TO A SCHEDULE

Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.

Tip 5: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT AND WHEN YOU EAT.

You should not eat anything too heavy after 6:00 PM as it could disrupt your stomach while trying to sleep. Enjoy a healthy light snack within an hour of your bedtime. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages should be avoided. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

Tip 6: MANAGE THE STRESS IN YOUR LIFE

When you have too much to do and too much to think about, your sleep is likely to suffer. Consider healthy ways to manage your stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Share a good laugh with family members or an old friend. Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

BONUS TIP: PRACTICE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES BEFORE GOING TO BED

  • Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up to the top of your head.
  • Visualize a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that’s calming and peaceful. Concentrate on how relaxed this place makes you feel.

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.

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