Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most natural ways to improve your health. Everyone goes to sleep and wakes up refreshed and ready to enjoy another day. Or do they? In the US, 70 million people are affected by sleep disorders.
It only makes sense that you would approach this with goal setting with your health coach. A huge percentage of people suffer from poor sleep quality, resulting from some habits and situations they set themselves and can be changed with some goals and action.
Improved sleep quality will help with learning, creativity, attitude, reflex, heart function, stress, immunity, and a whole list of other improvements. It’s time to set some SMART goals for sleep.
1. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. That includes weekends. You stay asleep longer and fall asleep easier with a routine.
2. Turn off the television, bright lights, electronics and relax 30 minutes before bed. Avoid arguments. There’s the old saying “don’t go to sleep mad”, but it’s much easier to fall asleep if you’re in a “loving place” when you get into bed.
3. Exercise every day. Don’t exercise right before you go to bed. Even light exercise makes a difference and improves sleep quality.
4. Sleep in cool temperatures. You can get sheets and blankets that are woven to keep you from overheating. It’s really nice if you can open the windows and let cool air in.
5. Alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and big meals can cause sleep problems. If you consistently wake up at 1:00 am and can’t get back to sleep, review what you ate and drank before bed (wine?).
6. Check your medications to see if they cause trouble with regular sleep cycles.
7. Block all light from entering through windows and doors. Blackout shades or drapes are perfect for windows, skylights, and passageways. If nothing else, get eyeshades and cover your eyes.
8. Close off the noise. There are several noise-blocking wall finishes and fabrics if you’re close to an interstate. Some people live by the airport and trains. Earplugs are handy when you can’t change your environment.
9. Keep your sleep area free and clean from allergens.
10. Keep a sleep journal. Tracking daily habits and sleep quality helps to make adjustments.
- Generally, people benefit from following set sleep patterns:
- Newborns: 14-17 hours per 24-hour cycle
- 12 months: 10 hours at night, plus 4 hours of naps
- 2 years: 11-12 hours at night, plus 1-2 hour afternoon nap
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
- 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
- 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
- Adults:7-9 hours
- You think about the teenagers going to sleep at 10:30 and getting up to catch a bus at 5:30. It seems like there needs to be a better way for those kids to get a good nights sleep. That may go a long way toward solving some issues, like learning, bullying, and attitude in general.
Health Coach Conversations – Podcast with Sleep Expert Amy Korn-Reavis
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