How’s your sleep cycle? A good sound night’s sleep is prime for stress reduction. Minor interruptions can cause the next day to be miserable. We know lights and noise, even distant TV or traffic noise can be a factor, but consider this as well:
–Dim your lights in your “home” 2-3 hours before bedtime. Lower light levels signal your brain to make melatonin that brings on sleep. Use a lower watt blub for reading if you read before bedtime.
–Avoid vigorous exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime, unless it’s yoga or tai chi. A post-workout burst of energy will keep you awake.
–Nighttime bathroom trips can break your sleep. Avoid drinking anything at least 2 hours before bedtime. Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom so as not to have to turn the bright light on if you need to make a nighttime bathroom visit.
–Use good sleeping posture. You need just the right size pillow to support the natural curve of your neck. Line your nose up with the center of your body and don’t sleep on your stomach, it twists your neck. For lower back pain, put a pillow between your knees. Even a mild pain can disturb your deep sleep. For back sleepers, a pillow under the knees can ease pain.
–Nicotine is a stimulant just like caffeine and can make falling asleep worse. Avoid smoking, drinking and caffeine several hours before bed.
–Check your mattress for dust mites, mold and other allergy causes. Seal your mattress with a dust-proof, airtight plastic cover. Be aware of bedbugs if you have just come back from a trip. They can travel in your luggage if you have placed it on the floor of a hotel room. Takes bedbugs only a second to invade your personal items. One friend, who’s son is a travel agent, advises that you put your suitcase in the bathtub of any hotel room.
–Keep a regular sleep time setting your body’s clock. This routine will help both mind and body. And in the morning, get out into the sunlight for 5 – 20 minutes as soon as you get out of bed. It will get you up and going.