4 Ways to Improve Your Sleep | Compassionate Hart

March is fun for a few reasons. Exciting basketball, green beer, and a confused body clock. Wait, that’s not fun. March is when we attempt to shake off the winter blues and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of daffodils and crisp blue skies. Daylight Savings Time robs us of a precious hour of rest we won’t see it again until fall!

But sleep issues aren’t a seasonal problem. It’s estimated that over 60 million Americans suffer from short-term (a few days or weeks) or long-term (more than a month) insomnia. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means they are the symptom or side effect of a different problem.

We’ve all heard the standard tips about avoiding caffeine, using room-darkening shades, and going to bed at the same time every night. Here are a few other ideas that aren’t as well known.

Nap properly

Taking a nap during the day can be great for productivity and fabulous for health, but napping needs to be done right. Aim for 20 to 25 minutes, any longer than that and you’ll feel groggy when you wake up and you risk not being able to fall asleep when it’s bedtime. If you really want to get good at power naps, there’s a whole kit to help you get it right!

Be mindful of the temperature

Take a warm (not hot) shower or bath about an hour before bedtime, and keep your room cool at night. The drop in body temperature signals your body to calm so you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.

Turn off the electronics

Okay, so you’ve heard this one. But it’s the most important and the least followed piece of advice.

Get an old fashioned alarm clock so you don’t need to use your phone. Turn your phone, iPad, Kindle, or whatever you’ve got off, and put the devices in another room. Yes, a whole other room. You may think that a phone on silent, hanging out on your nightstand, won’t disturb your rest, but it will. Just knowing it’s there puts your body on alert. It’s far too tempting to reach over and ‘just check a few emails’ if you do wake up in the middle of the night. Save yourself and break this habit.

Get a massage

Yup. Massage can help with sleep issues. There have been several studies demonstrating the efficacy of massage in people with sleep problems, especially when treating secondary issues that may impair sleep, like back pain, pregnancy and migraines.

You can call me at (814) 456-5833 or schedule online and get ready for a better night’s sleep.