Added: Mon. Dec 31, 2012 12:05pm
As we start the New Year we always make resolutions or goals
we would like to achieve during the year.
This past year we have all learned that sleep affects all aspects of your
health and so you may want to add a better night sleep as one of your goals for
the year. The problem is how to approach
this to make it practical. Creating
SMART goals are usually the most successful goals.
Let’s look at some small changes you can make and add to
your daily life that can improve your sleep.
These are not big things but small changes you can add to your routine
and as you build one on the other you will find that you will sleep better and
have more energy during the day.
- Give you your electronics 40 minutes before
bedtime. The light given off by your
electronics confuse your brain and make it believe it is daytime. If you turn them off 40 minutes prior to
bedtime you give you mind time to relax and allow Melatonin to be releases
helping you to sleep. Melatonin is
released when you are exposed to darkness.
So turning down the lights, turning off the electronics and enjoying the
quite time during the evening helps to allow this hormone to be released.
- Practice diaphragmatic breathing. One of the great ways to relax is to deep
breathe. Lie down, put your hands on
your abdomen just below your ribcage as you inhale push out against your hands,
as you exhale pull your abdominal muscles in.
This exercise helps you to increase your oxygen levels, increase your
lung capacity and calm your brain due to your concentration on your
breathing. Doing this for 5-10 minutes
as part of your bedtime routine will help you especially if you have transient
insomnia, or insomnia caused by a particular issue.
- Create a bedtime that is 15 minutes earlier to
increase your sleep time. Large changes
in bedtime will most likely lead to insomnia but a small change such 15 minutes
will allow you to increase your sleep time without adding time just staring at
- Do not use the snooze button. You will find that if you get up at the same
time every day and do not linger in bed you will have more energy during the
day. It will also help you to not feel
- Add ten minutes of sunlight to your morning
routine. Open the curtains, sit out on
the balcony, or take a walk. Any of
these ideas will help you to feel more awake and have more energy. Your brain needs the light to tell you to be
awake just like it needs the dark to tell it to go to sleep.
These are just a few ideas to add to your life during the New
Year. It is not necessary to add all of
these ideas or to add them all at once but when you are making a goal using the
smart method is the best way to more ahead.
Each of these is measurable, sustainable, and very specific. I know improving your sleep will make this year
a great your for you.
Positive Results is the driving force that fuels Amy Korn-Reavis,
RRT, RPSGT. She is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results as an
Author, Registered Respiratory Therapist and Registered Sleep Technologist and
has been working in the health field since 1986. She is an educator and consultant in the
field of Neurodiagnostic Technology. She
is a trusted resource in the field of sleep for blogs, newspapers and websites. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit her website at www.bettersleepcoach.com