What a difference a night makes! Here are 6 little secrets that US Family Health Plan – a TRICARE Prime Health Program - would like to share on how you can get a good night’s sleep. Good sleep, along with healthy eating and good exercise, is one of the primary pillars of good health. And who doesn’t enjoy a good healthy sleep?
Here are 6 tips for how you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle a new day!
- Get rid of the blue light – embrace the darkness! Avoid all blue emitting light if you are trying to get a good night’s rest. Sources of blue light include your smart phone, your computer and your TV. Turn everything off if you want a healthy, healing sleep. To be honest, it’s a good idea to eliminate as much light as possible. But blue light is especially a problem if you are trying to sleep restfully. When your eyes are exposed to blue light, your brain produces less of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and you tend to wake up through the night.
- Night time is bath time. Your body temperature decreases just before you fall asleep each night. Taking a bath or shower tends to raise your body temperature. Here’s how this little trick works. When you climb out of the tub or shower, your body temperature will suddenly drop. This sends a message to your body that you are ready for sleep. Voila! Take a bath or shower right before you head for the bed and enhance your chance for a reinvigorating night’s sleep.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime. It’s commonly thought that “a little night-cap” will help you get a good night’s sleep. Not true. Alcohol actually disturbs your sleep, and increases the chances of heavy snoring and nightmares. Replace the “night-cap” with a nice soothing cup of tea or hot chocolate before you go to bed. And by the way, it’s also a good idea to avoid drinking too much water. This can result in multiple trips to the bath room.
- Write down tomorrow’s to-do list tonight. If you are going to bed worrying about a long list of things you need to accomplish the next day, it will be a lot harder to fall asleep. By making a to-do list for the next day, you will eliminate much of this worry because you have started to tackle the day ahead and you will start the day more organized. This feeling will help you rest easier knowing that you have a plan of attack already mapped out to reach tomorrow’s goals.
- Give yourself a big yawn (and a hug too). Just as smiling makes you happy, yawning makes you sleepy. You can fool your body into thinking you are sleepy with a nice, good yawn. Let your eyes droop, let your arms and legs feel heavy, and fake a yawn or two. This will help you get to sleep faster. Imagine you’re feeling really, really tired. Remind yourself you, above all people, deserve a good night’s sleep. Enjoy the payoff.
- Avoid worry. Lying awake makes many people feel anxious, and this anxiety disrupts their sleep even more, creating a vicious cycle. Try to put your worries out of you mind and concentrate on getting good rest. Research shows that just relaxing in bed is still good for you. Rest yourself on through the night.
At US Family Health Plan, we know how the importance and great health benefits of a good night’s sleep. Good sleep is restorative and the body feels the difference in the morning. When you wake up refreshed, everyone can enjoy being around you – your family, your co-workers, and your friends. What a difference a night makes!