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Sleep Rehab

I go through spurts where sleep just doesn't come easy for me. Lately it has been when I am in NYC in the hotel and when I am there for a week, it completely wrecks me. A full 2/3 of Americans say they have trouble getting enough sleep at least once a week. It used to be that I was afraid of missing something...there is a story about 3-year-old Laney screaming in her room that she couldn't go to sleep because she had to do her homework. Now I think it is mostly stress related.

Nearly 1/3 of American women use some kind of sleep aid at least a few nights a week. I am one of them.

I recently read an article in SHAPE that provided a 12-step program to get back on track. Some of the items I already do kinda, but I am giving it a go at being more diligent. The steps are listed below. I'll report back in a month about my progress.

  1. Unplug: We don't have a TV in our room, but I am guilty of bringing my laptop to bed. Since getting my Kindle I have become an avid reader, so I will aim to do that more.
  2. Ease up on caffeine: This isn't really an issue for me, but I will try not to drink any green tea after 4 pm.
  3. Don't over-hydrate: I keep a water bottle by my bed, especially when I am training. There are a few times that I get up in the middle of the night.
  4. Build a great nest: Sheets and pillows are incredibly important to me. I recently purchased a new set of pillows because the feather ones my hubby likes just weren't working for me.
  5. Keep your cool: My hubby and I argue about the room temp all the time. I like it cold, windows open in the winter. Somehow we need to compromise on that 65 degrees.
  6. Make your bed: Apparently 44% of people who make their beds daily report snoozing more soundly. This is an easy fix.
  7. Hit the gym in the AM: Tough for me, I like training in the morning, but getting my cardio in at night. Research says that 7 AM workouts improved sleep quality more than late-day exercise. New move: take a steamy shower after that PM session.
  8. Get up on Sundays: I sleep in a bit on the weekends. New move: sleep in within a hour of your weekday wake-up time.
  9. Nix the nightcap: Not really an issue for me.
  10. Swap warm milk for cherry juice: It contains melatonin and research shows that people who drink it regularly sleep an extra 25 minutes.
  11. Follow your nose: Taking a whiff of lavender may help improve sleep. I have some aromatherapy lotion from Bath & Body Works that I will be utilizing.

The last step is seeking a professionals help. I am hoping it doesn't get to that point. What are your sleep tricks?

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