Of all the things that people can do to try to look better and stay healthy.......get a good night's sleep! Maybe it's not about dreams of puppy dogs and ice cream cones, but a good night's sleep is priceless. You will feel refreshed in the morning, have less baggage under the eyes and as some say, you won't feel run down and get sick. So what are some not to obvious tips to get a good snooze going at night?
1. Drinks and food before bed: I am always thirsty looking for a cold glass of water to chug whenever I can. But then I'm always running to the bathroom before going to bed or just as I get comfortable in bed or in the middle of the night when I am dreaming about flying through the air I wake up to go to the bathroom. Gotta tell yourself to cut off the food and drinks an hour before you go to bed - at least!
2. Kids and pets: I love my kids. But they sleep better in their beds. I don't have pets but I would imagine if I had a dog sleeping on my bed with me that it would make for a wakeful night between snoring, drooling and movements and that's just me (kidding!).
3. Alcohol: People have different opinions on this. Some think that a nightcap helps them go to sleep. Others think that as the alcohol levels in your blood start to decrease as the night goes on, that there is a stimulant or wake-up effect. I look at the facts from my own experience. If I have a few drinks, I have interrupted sleep - meaning that I will wake up a few times during the night and feel tired when I finally start the next day. That can be okay if there is nothing going on the next day and I can recoup. But how many of us have those "no responsibility" type of days? Between work and family, most of us are in "responsible" mode all the time.
4. Winding down after a crazy day: Okay so you had a horrible day. Your boss had you running around like crazy doing a million and one things that he or she could have done. Then once you got out of work you had to drive a family member here or there and then hit the grocery store and come home and cook dinner and get the kids ready for bed and then avoid your friend with all her man problems. Then it's 10 o'clock and you are beat! Sometimes you just want to hide under the covers after a crazy day and pretend you can't hear anyone else's complaints or drama. But what you need to do is unwind and relax a little before hitting the hay. Being wound up after an awful day can make you fidgety and restless. Take the 10 minutes to stretch out your body and mind and relax before hitting the hay.
5. TV: Although it is important to catch the weather for the next day before you hit the pillow, it is also important to realize that the news is also on in the morning! Try not to get wrapped up in the TV before bed routine. You will end up staying up later than you need to or want to. Whatever is on at night can be seen in the morning or the weekends (DVR! Love it!)
These were some ideas that worked for me. If you have some other tips or ideas that work for you, feel free to post them here in the comments. Always love fresh ideas!
Kat Roberts is a local Westchester author. Recent works include: HOT MOMMA - not your typical diet and fitness guide for new moms and women; NO MORE LAZY DAYS - a parenting guide to keep yourself and your children active and off the couch. You can check out more of Kat Roberts at her website at www.katroberts.webs.com