Cold winter nights, warm winter blankets, snuggled in with your faithful partner , be they 2 or 4 legged. Sounds like the perfect framework for a good night’s sleep… and a recipe for sweet dreams and restful awakenings.
Unfortunately, the National Sleep Foundation says the average woman gets just over 6 hours of sleep during her workweek, significantly less than the recommended sleep of 7 to 9 hours for adults.
According to Dr. Mark Mahowald, Professor of Neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center at Hennepin County Medical Center , insomnia refers to the inability to get the amount of sleep you as an individual need to wake up feeling rested.
Symptoms of insomnia include:
- difficulty falling asleep
- waking up frequently during the night
- difficulty returning to sleep
- waking up too early in the morning
- unrefreshing sleep
- daytime sleepiness
- difficulty concentrating
There are some simple solutions:
Plan a “bumper” of down time. It is recommended that you allow at least 3 hours between exercise and sleeping. Avoid caffeine and heavy meals before bedtimes as well.
Make your room a haven. Dedicate the space to sleep and love. Move the TV out, install a ceiling fan for cool breezes and masking external noises. Darken the windows, and reduce the number of LED lights (blue or red lights from power cords, alarm clocks, ipods, chargers, computers) in your room.
Maintain a route. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You can’t make up for lost sleep by sleeping in on weekends. If you sleep late just once or twice a week you have a harder time falling asleep during the rest of the week.
Calm your mind. If you find yourself making mental lists of unfinished tasks, try writing them down before bedtime. Don’t use bedtime as a time to chastise yourself for mistakes or to dream up “what-if” scenarios. Pray, meditate, and practice deep breathing exercises to relax your body and soul.
Remember that how you perform during the day is directly related to how well and how long you slept the night before. Insufficient sleep leads to irritability, premature aging, and is associated with a number of diseases—(such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.) Poor sleep habits also lead to irritability, premature aging, and increased morbidity.
Allow yourself the luxury of sleep: “to sleep, perchance to dream”, and you will reap the benefits all day long.
Be safe, sweet dreams, be healthy, be blessed, Kersten WomenVitamins