Lots of people have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. It’s a myth that we all need 7 hours of sleep. However, we do each have a sweet spot for how many hours we need, and we know when we haven’t gotten it. Read on to learn more about healthy sleep, according to CBT-I.
Some common sleep challenges:
- trouble falling asleep
- waking in the middle of the night and trouble falling back asleep
- waking up too early
- not remembering waking up, but not feeling rested
Now, it’s a good idea to flag any sleep issues to your family doctor, and start by ruling out sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can wreak havoc on both your sleep and your health overall, and many people who have it don’t realize that they do.
Once you’ve cleared that, here are some tips to improve your sleep:
- Deal with your worries during the day if you can. It’s common to avoid worries by keeping busy, but they pop up as soon as you slow down (and try to sleep!)
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule – aim to go to sleep around the same time every night and wake up around the same time every morning. Try not to change up your time by more than an hour.
- Have a calming wind down routine before bed – reading, relaxing TV, quality time with a partner are some options. If you have herbal teas, try not to drink too much!
- Shut the work laptop early and skip the late night news.
- Go to bed when you’re starting to feel sleepy but not if you’re wide awake.
- If you wake up and can’t get back to sleep within 20 mins – relocate, do something calming, and go back to bed when you’re tired again.
- If consistency is a challenge, focus on your wake time. It’s much easier to force yourself awake than to try to force yourself to sleep.
- No naps! If you must, nap briefly and early in the day.
Be gentle with yourself and try not to watch the clock in the night. Another tip? Tackle those thoughts and worries with a therapist. 🙂