Ahhh, summer — your days are warm, school is out, and suddenly everyone is busy with travel, camp, outdoor activities, and social gatherings. With the change in light and possibly your family schedule, you or someone in your family may find that your sleep cycle is thrown off. To battle insomnia or restless sleep, follow these simple self-care tips:
- Sleep in a dark, cool room. If your room gets a lot of natural light, install black-out shades or drapes. Use a fan or air conditioning unit to keep the room under 65 degrees.
- Follow a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up within the same 30 minute window daily.
- Incorporate a pre-bedtime ritual of behaviors that encourage relaxation before you get into bed. This can include simple behaviors such as listening to soothing music as you brush your teeth, a cup of chamomile or sleepytime tea, or a bath or shower before bed. Your body will begin to associate these routines with rest and follow the same routine nightly.
- Shut off your electronic devices, including television, iPads, phones, and computers at least 60 minutes (and preferably more) before bed.
- Limit or eliminate alcohol, sugar, and caffeine.
- Use your bedroom for sleeping and lovemaking, and nothing else.
- If you like to take a siesta, keep your naps to 20 minutes or less.
- Exercise during the morning or daytime rather than the evening.
- Eat dinner early, giving your body 2-3 hours to digest your meals before turning in for the night.
If you or someone you know suffers from insomnia, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help. All and One acupuncture in Northeast Portland can provide you with tools to improve your sleep.