Woman Turning Off Alarm

Based on recent statistics from the CDC, 30% of Americans aren’t getting enough…. SLEEP. Not getting enough sleep can have a major impact on your life. Lack of sleep has been tied to an increase in motor vehicle accidents; decrease in job performance and in increase in your risk for heart attack stroke. This increased risk multiplies in individuals with other risk factors. March as been designated as Sleep Awareness Month so why not take some time and check in with your sleep routine? Try these ideas to get yourself and your bedroom in the mood for sleep.

  • Reduce Nicotine, Caffeine and Alcohol – While some people think that having a drink or a cigarette will help them to relax, all three of these substances stimulate the body. If you can eliminate these items from your diet all together, even better. If you must indulge, don’t do so close to your bedtime.
  • Establish a bedtime and a routine – Go to bed at the same time or as close as possible to the same time every night. Begin winding down from the day about 30 minutes before hitting the hay. Put together a nightly routine that you follow to let your body know that it is time to go to sleep.
  • Exercise Regularly – Studies show that regular exercise can aid in getting enough sleep. Keep your exercise routines earlier in the day. Exercise 3 hours or less before bedtime can have the opposite effect.
  • Environment – Use your bedroom for sleep or sex only. Invest in blackout curtains, a sound machine, comfortable sheets and blankets, an eye mask and earplugs if needed. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary where you go to rest, relax and sleep. No TV’s or computers allowed!
  • Quiet Your Mind – In today’s multi-tasking society, we all have a million things running through our minds. Close your eyes and begin to quiet your mind before bedtime. You can use meditation or relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga to help you do this.

Sleep is something that we all need. We don’t function up to our full potential without it. Use this month and these tips to improve both the quantity and the quality of your sleep. You’re worth it!

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Marta Rocha

About the Author: Marta Rocha is a Mental Health Counselor. Marta is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Marta Rocha is specialized in the areas of Marriage Counseling, Family Issues, Stress Management, Leadership Training, Anxiety, Depression, Sports Psychology, Grief, and Substance Abuse & Addictions. Marta Rocha has 12 years of experience in sales & marketing, advertising, promotions, management, and professional development. Her professional affiliations are with the American Counseling Association, and the American Association of Christian Counselors.

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