Sleep is probably the most important way to recover from all aspects of life. Most health experts and researchers agree that 7-9 hours of sleep is what most of us need. But with our digital world it’s becoming increasingly difficult for some many of us to get a good night sleep.
Circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that tells you when it’s time to wake up and time to sleep. So if you’re having difficulty sleeping try these suggestions for a “sleep routine” to help.
Always get up and go to bed at the same time, no more sleeping in or staying up late on the weekends. This is the easiest way to help your body maintain its rhythm.
Get some sun first thing in the morning, and about two hours before bedtime, lower the lights and consider reducing screen time as most electronic devices emit blue spectrum light which will keep you awake.
Mattresses only last 10 years at best and pillows last 2-5 years, so make sure that these are still providing the contour support that you need.
Sleeping flat on your back is typically the best because it allows the entire length of your spine to return to neutral during the night. On your left is a close second if you have adequate pillow support for your neck and between your knees to keep your hips in alignment. Your right side is not so good as this can cause acid reflux in some individuals. On your stomach is the worst as it places the most pressure on your internal organs.
Lastly, get regular exercise. It can help reduce anxiety from the day and release stored energy in the body. The rise and subsequent drop in body temperature after exercise can all help prompt your body to sleep.
Michael Van Nice, PTA