Tiny Steps Tuesday : (Don't) Sleep Like a Baby
Do you ever lay down to sleep at night, only your head feels like this? Try putting a small notebook and pen on the bedside table to jot down notes - thus emptying that board and freeing your mind for sleep.
Everyone's sleep needs vary, but most healthy adults need an average of eight hours sleep per night. This isn't really news to you, I'm sure. But did you know that (according to the DOT) 5% of highway crashes are due to sleepiness, especially in rural areas?
Leading sleep researchers recommend these techniques to combat sleep issues:
- Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
- Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use
- Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Get regular exercise
- Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep
- Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night
- Try to wake up without an alarm clock
- Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for certain period; this will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep
Some people can sleep anywhere! It's true - when we're having travel long days, all of us have been known to take turns curling up on the floorboard of the car. We each sleep by our own rhythms...the night owls sleep in the mornings, and the early birds take afternoon naps.
On the road, we've found that leaving the bathroom light on, with the door cracked, creates a nightlight that gives the kids more security. It's too much light for my taste, but a simple mask fixes that. Even if you're not Holly Golightly , you'll still probably sleep better with a basic sleep kit , quirky sleep mask, or cute kitty mask.
Also, outside noises, from the streets and the hotel hallway alike, seemed to be a big trigger. So we started using a Homedic sound machine. I remember my parents travelling with one of these when we were younger. It helps to muffle sound with white noise. As an added bonus, if Dad gets up early for work, his 'morning noises' don't wake the kids!
Take it to the Next Level
Create a bedtime ritual by taking a bath with lavender oil, drinking herbal tea, and using a light dimmer. Avoid using digital devices for at least an hour before bed. If you must use them, install a program to automatically change the light wavelengths so that they do not interfere with your body's natural rhythms.