The ABCs of catching ZZZs

Chronic Sleep DisorderIf you have trouble getting a good night’s rest, you’re not alone.  An estimated 50 million to 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder.  Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, affecting about 30 percent of adults.

Sleep is critical to good health. The effects of inadequate sleep range include impaired cognitive function and reduced resilience to stressful situations.  Lack of sleep can even contribute to diseases such as depression, heart disease and hypertension!

So what can you do to ensure a better night’s sleep?  Here are some tips:

Keep a schedule. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, and keep to it even on the weekends.

Find a relaxation routine.
Try taking a hot bath or relaxing on your BioMat with a good book and some soothing music or the BioMat relaxation recording just before bedtime.

Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep, but make sure you finish your workout a few hours before bedtime.

Avoid caffeine.
Caffeine stays in your body an average of three to five hours, so avoid drinking tea, coffee or caffeinated soft drinks any later than the early afternoon.  That includes hot cocoa!

Minimize visual and auditory stimuli. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark during sleep hours.  If this isn’t possible, consider using eyeshades and earplugs or a white noise machine to compensate.

Make your bedroom a “sleep-only” zone.
Try not to use your bedroom for watching TV, studying or doing anything other than relaxing and sleeping.  Keeping the room for sleep only triggers a stronger sleep response when you lie down at night.

Lower your stress levels.
If you are worried or anxious, you are far less likely to drop off to sleep.  Try using your BioMat to de-stress before bedtime.  The BioMat is an excellent sleep mood primer because it activates delta wave activity in your brain (delta waves are present during deep sleep and meditation).

Try putting these tips into action, and you’re sure to see a positive change in your sleeping patterns.