Wake up, sleepyhead!
How much sleep someone needs varies from person to person – an adult requires anywhere from 4 to 10 hours. If you don’t feel refreshed no matter how many hours you sleep, try these techniques. And if these don’t work and you have trouble night after night, you should visit your doctor – you may have a sleep disorder that is causing your difficulty.
EXERCISE – Get 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day, but not right before bedtime, as your body gets revved up after working out.
AVOID CAFFEINE – Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps you awake. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain relievers.
IF YOU SMOKE, QUIT! – Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal.
DON’T DRINK – Alcohol robs people of both deep and REM sleep, and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep.
SET A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT – Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. That includes weekends. Why? Disrupting your schedule may lead to insomnia and sleeping in on weekend resets your sleep cycle making it harder to get up during the week.
RELAX – A warm bath or soothing cup of herbal tea (decaf) can help you relax before bed. And once in bed, if you can’t sleep immediately don’t become anxious, read or watch TV until you do feel tired.