Tips and tricks for falling asleep and staying asleep when you can’t seem to wind down.
Nearly every adult has an occasional sleepless night. However, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who experience more disturbances than dreams, take heart, there are ways to promote healthy sleep without resorting to potentially-addictive sleeping pills.
Your sleep schedule
Dr. Michael J. Breus, better known as “The Sleep Doctor,” stresses that the most important thing you can do to improve your overall sleep quality is stick to a schedule. According to the clinical psychologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, following the clock will reset your internal rhythm.
Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night – children may require 10 hours or more. The best way to create a healthy schedule is to plan for five 90-minute REM cycles each night. This equates to about 7 ½ hours. If your job or school day requires waking at 6:30 AM, plan to be in bed by 11 PM. The length of time you sleep is important since the most restorative sleep occurs in the hours just before waking.
Children’s bedtime schedules should include a winding down routine. This should be comprised of actions, such as putting on pajamas and brushing teeth. Having a predictable pattern of events leading up to bedtime will make it easier for children to transition from day to night.