11 Steps For A Better Night’s Sleep

If you ask someone how they slept last night, chances are you’ll get one of two answers – “fantastic” or “not at all”. It seems like a lot of people have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. The reasons can be many – having young children, an uncomfortable bed, too hot, too cold, too much stress…the list goes on.

When you live with Chronic Pain, it’s an entirely different story. Pain is usually the main factor in keeping us awake, and the likelihood of a good night’s sleep is generally not to be expected.  Read on to find out more about what it takes for a good night snooze. 

man sleepless in bed

 

Sleep And Your Immune System

Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, causing a double whammy if you skimp on shut-eye.  Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond.

Stock Up on Naps

To stay healthy, especially during the influenza season, get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This will help keep your immune system in fighting shape and also protect you from other health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  If your sleep schedule is interrupted by a busy workweek or other factors, try to make up for the lost rest with naps. Taking two naps that are no longer than 30 minutes each —one in the morning and one in the afternoon—has been shown to help decrease stress and offset the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system.  If you can’t swing a half-hour nap during the workday, try grabbing a 20-minute siesta on your lunch hour, and another right before dinner.

Other Healthy Tactics

Person washing their hands

Of course, there’s more to boosting your immunity and guarding against illness than getting ample sleep. It’s also important to practice smart stay-healthy strategies such as washing your hands with soap regularly, avoiding close contact with people who are obviously under the weather and talking with your doctor about getting an annual flu shot.  And remember: Even if you do come down with a case of seasonal sniffles, you’ll be able to bounce back faster if your body is well rested. 

11 Tips For A Better Sleep

  1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
  2. Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  3. Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy. If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
  4. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
  5. Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  6. Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings. Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  7. Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
  8. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
  9. Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  10. Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
  11. Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
  12. Take your medications on a regular basis. If you take sleeping meds, take them on a regular basis as directed instead of just hit and miss each night. 

Some Items to Help with Sleeping

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Yolmina 3D Contoured Eye Mask for Sleeping

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ZzzQuil Pure zzz’s Sleep Aid

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Contoured Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders

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White Noise Machine

Conclusion

Good sleep is available to all of us, but it can take some work to achieve it. Just think of the benefits at the end though…those zzzz’s are worth it!

There is always hope

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11 thoughts on “11 Steps For A Better Night’s Sleep

  1. Hi good post with good advice. I like my sleep when I’m not having strange dreams. I find that during the week I don’t get enough, maybe 6 hours a night. Then on weekends when I don’t need to get up, I will often lie in if I can.. I need my sleep and rest.

  2. Not being able to take a nap during the day (working full time) it does make that I from time to time have to go to bed earlier than usual, but I still try to stick to a routine. Over weekends, I will do the nap when required, although not very often as it’s catch up time for me,
    Having said that, I totally agree with your tips and its great to be reminded

  3. Sleep is something I have been struggling with, so I am definitely going to put some of your tips into practice! Here’s hoping there are some well-rested mornings in the near future…

  4. Great suggestions! I’ve never tried a white noise machine but I’m quite curious what it would be like.
    I’ve struggled with sleep for years, and then with a stoma and chronic pain things changed again, so it’s difficult to manage. I like that you’ve included naps. All too often we get told to not nap, when actually it can be the best thing for us if we can’t manage the ‘recommended’ sleep and the rest we need all in one go. Let’s hope we can all catch a few decent Zzzs this week! 🙂
    Caz xx

  5. These are all great suggestions. I’m not much for using artificial sleep aids like ZZQuil, but the suggestions for a bedtime routine are certainly helpful. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for sharing some great tips Pamela! My hubby and I have implemented quite a few of these and they’ve helped, though we still both go through cycles where we don’t sleep as well. It’s important to do what we can to eliminate or shorten the duration of those cycles though….

  7. I try maintain a schedule for getting to bed and yeah to not eating a few hours before bed. Hate the feeling of a rock in my stomach

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