I almost never have a problem falling asleep. But, when I wake up in the middle of the night (which happens more, the older I get), I often have had a hard time falling back to sleep.

I know the reason—too much on my mind. As soon as I start thinking about things, my sleep is sabotaged.

I recently attended a wellness seminar, at work, on sleeping better. Thoughts aren’t the only cause of poor sleep. Behaviors lead to poor sleep as well.

Here is what I learned:

  • We need 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep. If you think, “I know that’s what they say, but I don’t need that much,” you are not doing yourself any favors. Sleep is extremely important for your health—in the short-term and long-term. (Also, as we get older, we tend to wake up earlier. To make sure we have enough sleep, we need to go to bed earlier.)
  • Being tired accounts for the highest number of single-car fatal accidents. More than alcohol! So, please be sure to avoid driving drowsy.
  • The part of the brain that stimulates you to be awake is just behind the eyes, so light before sleep is bad. Don’t use your phone in bed.
  • Alcohol helps you fall asleep, but causes you wake up before you have had a full night’s sleep.
  • Nicotine is a stimulant which negatively impacts sleep.
  • Exercise helps you get better sleep.
  • White noise machines can help.
  • Deep breaths can help you to relax and fall asleep, or fall back asleep.
  • One of five people have at least mild obstructive sleep apnea. You can read more about that here.

What are your good suggestions for better sleep? Join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,