Healthy Sleep Habits & Insomnia Tips


Healthy Sleep Habits & Insomnia Tips

Here are some healthy sleep habits and insomnia tips shared by Stephen S. Ilardi, PhD., associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kanas. These strategies are being used by the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program in his university with much success [1].

Through adopting health sleep habits, the aim is to help you fall asleep more readily (i.e. within 15min) and have better quality sleep, so that you can find better relieve from your depression.

The more serious your sleep problem, the more it is crucial that you abide by these guidelines.

These insomnia tips could be useful even if your sleep problem is sleeping too much (i.e. hypersomnia). This is because many cases of depressive hypersomnia are a result of sleep deficiency, which is in turn an outcome of poor quality sleep from frequent awakenings at night and reduced amount of restorative slow-wave sleep.

Tips for healthy sleep

Strengthening the association between your bed and sleep

One of the healthy sleep habits and insomnia tips is strengthening the relationship between your bed/bedroom and sleep. You can help your body associate the bed/bedroom to sleep, such that the mere sight of entering the bedroom, turning out the lights and crawling into bed can help you grow drowsier and fall sleep relatively quickly.

Here’s the insomnia tips you can adopt to better associate sleep to your bed/bedroom::

  • Use your bed only for sleeping

  • Whatever you do to make yourself drowsy for bed (eg. read or watch a movie) should be done elsewhere, not the bed.
  • The only exception, according to sleep specialists, is sex. Possibly, sex is associated with positive feelings, which in turn can help to counter the dread many insomniacs associate with bedtime and the bed.
  • Also, avoid sleeping anywhere else except your own bed
  • If you aren’t drowsy yet, you should avoid getting into bed.
  • If you have been lying in bed for 15mins and still aren’t asleep, it is best to get up, leave the bedroom, engage in something relaxing until you feel drowsy before returning to the bed.
  • Even though this may mean you reduce your total sleep time, reading a book or watching a movie to get yourself drowsy, instead of resting in bed to await sleep, brings improved sleep in the long run. Hence, sleep researchers noted that the trade-off is worth it.
  • Of course, you would have to start preparing for bed in advance, i.e. start winding down by putting away your work and turning to your relaxing corner with your bedtime book or movie early enough, so as not to excessively “eat into” your sleep time.

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