- Consider the time you head to bed. Every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth twice the quality of sleep after midnight.
- Turn off all electronics at least 1 hour before bed. This means television, computer, and cellphones. Electronics are very stimulating to the brain and make it difficult to get to sleep.
- Sleep in a dark room. Our brains start to produce melatonin, which promotes sleep, when they are exposed to less light. Start by dimming the lights in your room 1 hour before bed then sleep in complete darkness.
- Create a nighttime ritual or routine. Our bodies and minds are comforted by patterns. Remind your mind that it is time for bed by starting a bedtime routine. Some ideas include: a warm bath, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or light yoga (click here for a 5 minute bedtime routine). Reading can also be good if it is not too stimulating or not on an electronic device.
- Mild to moderate exercise during the day. This helps promote restful sleep at night.
- Optimal sleep is 7-8 hours a night, more for growing children. Read more about how optimal sleep time and room temperatures can affect weight loss here.
If you are still having trouble falling asleep and maintaining sleep see your healthcare provider for further support. Naturopathic medicine has supportive therapies that can assist you in your change to healthy sleep patterns.
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