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7 SECRETS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

alarm-clock-590383_1920If you struggle with sleeping, then you may not have great sleep habits. These 7 tips from sleep specialist may help you get some much needed Zzzzzs. Now, before you decide only one or two of these tips apply to you, I suggest that you implement all 7 strategies together, consistently (that means even on weekends!), for 2-3 weeks before evaluating if your sleep has improved. If it hasn’t, give me a call and we can talk about what you might need to do to really get a handle on your sleep. Check out my website page to learn how I might be able to help you with your sleep (http://legacycounselingservice.com/insomnia-treatment/).

  1. Wake-up and get out of bed at ____AM every day whether you have a good or poor sleep on any particular night, EVEN ON WEEKENDS.
  2. Go to bed when you are sleepy, but not before ________. Long periods of time in bed will lead to shallow, broken sleep. You should spend only the amount of time in bed that you actually need for sleep. Sticking to the suggested bedtime and wake time will help you overcome your sleep problem.
  3. Get up when you can’t sleep.   When you are unable to sleep, get up and go to another room until you feel sleepy enough to fall asleep quickly before returning to bed. Get up again if sleep does not come on quickly.
  4. Use the bed only for sleeping. Do not read, eat, watch TV, etc. in bed. Sex is the only exception.
  5. Avoid daytime napping. Napping, particularly in the late afternoon or early evening may interfere with your night’s sleep.
  6. Create a buffer zone. The “buffer zone” is a quiet time prior to bed time. During this time, you should do things that are enjoyable on their own rather than activities that are taken as a means to an end.
  7. Don’t worry, plan, etc., in bed. If you are worrying, planning or can’t shut off your thoughts, get up and stay up until you can return to bed without these mental activities interfering with your sleep.

Other helpful practices:

  1. Turn the clock around
  2. Limit caffeine and consume to before noon
  3. Limit alcohol and do not consume within 3 hours of bedtime
  4. Exercise regularly but not close to bedtime
  5. Keep bedroom quiet, dark, and cool
  6. Do not eat a heavy meal close to bedtime (a light bedtime snack such as milk, peanut butter, or cheese is OK).

good nightAbove all, be patient! Your sleep problem developed over time so it will take some time to return to a more normal sleep pattern. Do not try too hard to sleep. Just let sleep unfold.

By following these suggestions you should see gradual sleep improvements, if not, give me a call at 539-777-1129 and we can talk about how I can help you sleep better. Read more about the treatment I offer for insomnia here http://legacycounselingservice.com/insomnia-treatment/.

Melissa Leedy, Ph.D.

Health Psychologist serving Broken Arrow, Tulsa, and surrounding communities.

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