Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

If you’ve ever had a poor night’s sleep, the next morning you probably feel groggy, tired, cranky and confused. Here are ten tips you can follow so you can consistently get a good night’s sleep.

1. Cut out the caffeine. This sounds like an obvious thing to do, but most people don’t know that some foods have some hidden caffeine. Make sure that you aren’t eating too much chocolate or drinking too much iced tea or soda before your bedtime. If you are still having a problem sleeping, you might want to cut these items out of your diet altogether.

2. Give yourself a bedtime. If you have kids, they have a bedtime based on how old they are, but most adults don’t give themselves a bedtime. You are probably doing other things while you should be sleeping, because you have a busy life. Giving yourself a strict bedtime and sticking to it is a good way to make sure you get enough sleep.

3. Don’t drink! If you want to sleep through the night, don’t drink a lot of water right before you go to bed. This will save you from going to and from the bathroom during the middle of the night.

4. Don’t drink! Number three just said don’t drink, but in addition to not drinking too much water, you should also not drink a lot of alcohol. Some people think a nightcap will help put them to sleep, but it may help to wake you up and excite you. If you want to get a good night’s sleep, make sure to avoid alcohol.

5. Quiet Down! Don’t go jogging, vacuum the house or pick a fight with your spouse right before you want to go to bed. Make sure that you have a peaceful bedtime routine that is neither stressful nor exciting.

6. Turn off the TV. You shouldn’t have a TV in your bedroom if you want to get a good night’s sleep, although most people have one. Make sure that once your bedtime comes, you turn it off and go to sleep without noise, distraction and excitement of something else.

7. Cool it down. Most people sleep better in cooler weather, so make sure that you have your bedroom set to the proper temperature. You shouldn’t be too cold or too hot.

8. Dim the lights. Make sure that there aren’t any lights on in the room and that the room is dark and comfortable.

9. Turn off the phone. Unless it is an emergency, you should turn the ringer off on your phone. After your bedtime, you shouldn’t get up to chat with friends or handle non-urgent business.

10. Close the curtains. Make sure that the curtains are closed so that you aren’t woken up before you have to get up the next morning. Curtains can help keep out some of the light and noise from making its way into the bedroom.

Trying to keep children on a schedule

1. It is very important to have a set bedtime. Let them know that it's 8:00 and they need to go to bed. You can give them 10 minutes or so for a favorite story or wind down time in their room to help them settle down.

2. Always try and have dinner at the same time every night. This is very important to keep a consistent schedule when possible.

3. It helps to give them a bath before bedtime. The warm water and soothing fragrance help to calm them and get them ready to turn in for the night.

4. If your child has had a bad night and doesn't sleep well, try to avoid making up for it with a nap the next day. Keep them up, if possible, so they will sleep through the following night.

5. If your child has a favorite toy, it helps them to take that toy to bed with them. If the child is a toddler, tell them that Mr. Bear is tired and would like to go to bed - this usually works.

6. For a toddler or small child, they have bedtime songs that are soothing and help them wind down after a busy day.

7. Warm milk is good for children as well as adults - Mom was right.

8. Make sure they have their tylenol or teething gel if needed.

9. Don't give them sugary snacks or beverages close to bedtime. The sugar will excite them and keep them awake longer.

10. If older children, don't let them have caffeinated beverages or chocolate before bedtime. This is self explanatory.

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