By Dr. Rachel Herman | PT, DPT


Sleep is a crucial time for our body and its healing as it is the time when our cells most involved with growth and regeneration are the most active.

Not getting enough sleep can even contribute to the development of chronic pain. If you find you are having trouble falling asleep, try some of these tips!

 

1. Exercise

Exercising 3 hours before falling asleep has been proven to improve total sleep time and sleep efficiency

2. Limit Blue Light

Our body naturally produces melatonin at night, which makes us sleepy and regulates circadian rhythm. Phones, tablets, computers, and TV all emit blue light, which reverses the effects of melatonin and produces an effect of wakefulness

3. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol at least 5 hours before bed

Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants and their effects can alter our body’s chemical reactions for up to 5 hours after consumption.

4. Calm the Body

Create a bedtime ritual that is free from stress, excitement, and stimulation. Some relaxing activities include meditating, reading, diaphragmatic breathing, taking a warm bath, and stretching.

5. Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Sticking to the same sleep/wake times on the weekdays and weekends will help regulate your body’s internal clock and thus help with falling asleep faster at night

6. Find a Comfortable Sleeping Position

This will be different for everyone, but try to find a position that keeps your body in neutral alignment. Utilize pillows between or under your knees and neck to avoid kinks in your position.

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