How to get a good night’s sleep…


It’s January 6th, 2011…and I have finally come up with a good New Year’s resolution. My first resolution was to paint my toenails more this year…which was pretty lame. I think everyone wants to choose a resolution that will in some way improve their quality of life. For me, getting a good night’s sleep would greatly improve the way I feel when I am awake. Generally, I wake up still feeling sleepy, achy all over, congested, and unrested.

So, I started googling different ways to get a good night’s sleep, and found a lot of information on the web…some practical, some not. I also spent a good deal of time thinking about when I have achieved such sleep and woke up feeling refreshed rather than like complete crap.

Here are the tips I’m going to try to follow to maintain a good night’s sleep every night of 2011…

1. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This makes sense. When I was in college, I was waking up at the same time each morning and felt pretty good as long as I didn’t push my bedtime back too late. My husband wakes up at the same time every morning, and at night he has no problem falling asleep – whereas I can lay there for hours not feeling remotely tired because I would usually wake up later in the morning due to not teaching lessons until mid-afternoons.

2. Don’t eat before bed. I’ve been known to put off dinner until 9pm at times…and then I’ll lie in bed awake and sometimes with heartburn. (a recent side effect of pregnancy) The body takes some time to digest foods, and I want to give my body the time to do so.

3. Plan tomorrow’s activities after dinner, not immediately before bed. I’ve found that I’m often lying awake at night thinking about all of the chores I need to do when I wake up the next day, what students I will teach, or what items I want to buy at the grocery store. Thinking…thinking…thinking…then suddenly, I realize it’s 3am and I’m still awake. I plan to make a list of the things I will do/buy for the next day, and then setting that list aside and not thinking about it again until tomorrow comes.

4. Exercise daily. OK, so this one is my least favorite. I am against making any kind of resolution that I don’t think I can actually stick to, and this is one of those resolutions that LOTS of people make and almost nobody accomplishes it. However, “exercise” is pretty vague, and I can count stretching and light yoga as exercise. Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise get a better night’s sleep and wake feeling more rested. grumble…

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