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Tired of Being Sleepy? 7 Ways to Get More Sleep

Who doesn’t love to sleep in? Did you know that quality sleep impacts work, school and play? Sleep better with these tips!
Cat Yawning

Should you be hitting the snooze button?

Back to school is upon us. By the third week of August, our kids will be back in classrooms during the day and back to bed much earlier than in the crazy, hazy, lazy nights of summer.

Of course, it’s not just the kids’ schedules that will change. Ours changes because theirs changes. The old standard of recommended hours of sleep for adults is eight. Is that still accurate? How much sleep is enough for you?

The National Sleep Foundation new sleep time recommendations are:

Age NSF Recommends Change
Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours +1 Hours
Children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours +1 Hours
Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours +0.5 Hours
Young adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours New Age Category
Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours No Change
Senior adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours New Age Category

Are you measuring up to the recommendations of sleep per night? A lot of remedies exist, but let’s think of what we can do in our homes to help us get enough sleep. This goes for you as well as your kids.

7 Tips for Getting Better Sleep

1. Plan Tonight for Tomorrow

Lay out clothes on a chair in your bedroom so you won’t stand in front of the closet in the morning debating what to wear. Do the same for your kids’ outfits. According to a survey conducted by Simon Jersey (a British clothing supplier) the average person take 12 minutes to pick out what they are wearing, that’s not even counting kids (and maybe spouses)!

As much as possible, prepare lunches at night. Put leftovers in individually portioned dishes and sort out snacks in containers for each lunch.

2. Stick to a Schedule

Get a sleep/awake schedule and stick to it. Eventually your circadian rhythm (body clock) will adjust. This might take time, but it will help you fall asleep at the same time at night and wake up at nearly the same time in the morning. Yes, even on the weekends.

3. Unplug from Technology

As difficult as it might be not to read one more chapter on your tablet or check Facebook once more on your phone, tear yourself away from technology at least 30 minutes before you go to bed according to Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Let your eyes rest from the blue light from electronic screens. The photons emitted from your phone actually tell your brain to stay awake!

4. Food for Thought

Don’t go to bed with your stomach growling. On the opposite side of the spectrum, don’t fall asleep when you’re stuffed from a meal or late-night snack. Make it a point to stop eating two to three hours before your bedtime. If you must have a snack, choose one with protein and carbs, like cereal with banana, cheese and crackers or toast with peanut butter.

Limit your liquids as well to prevent getting up multiple times to go to the bathroom. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these stimulants will wear off slowly and keep you awake in the meantime.

5. Bedroom environment

Is the temperature in your bedroom comfortable? Is it too hot or too cold in the middle of the night? Have you checked the blades on your ceiling fan to make sure they are clean? No need to send the dust flying and get you sneezing.

If you like fluffy pillows, are the ones you have flat and frumpy instead? Replace them!

Are your bed linens clean? Martha Stewart says it’s a personal preference, but she recommends washing them once a week to remove dirt and dust. Wash with warm water and tumble dry in the dryer. Why argue with Martha?

Do you have stimulating images on the walls? Perhaps you need to provide more soothing décor to provide a calming environment.

6. No Snoozing

Even if your smart phone has a snooze option, do not take it! Many people choose to set their alarm for several minutes to an hour earlier than when they need to wake up and take great delight in hitting the snooze button several times. Save time (and sleep) just set your alarm when you need to get up.

7. Welcome the Light

Pull back curtains and open window blinds to let the sun shine in your bedroom. We’re fortunate to still have morning light until the time change in the fall.

Start now, before it’s too late!

The proper amount of sleep can help all of us, regardless of age and stage. Get started now so you’ll be ready when the school bell rings.

About the Author

Debbie Kubik Evert juggles several part-time jobs (writing, research, dog sitting) and often spends her free time gardening, coloring and creating personalized products for friends and family. She was born and raised in Wichita, graduating from Southeast High School. She continued her education and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism. Debbie shares her home with labradorable Cocoa.

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