Have you heard of the 10 – 3- 2 – 1 approach for better sleep?

Achieving better sleep can lead to many health improvements. This list of suggestions for better sleep is not meant to be done in its entirety. Instead choose 3 to 4 changes to implement, to improve sleep quality.

  • 10 hours before sleep time avoid caffeine
  • 3 hours before bed avoid alcohol
  • 2 hours before stop working
  • 1 hour before stop all screen time

Minimize stimulants – this can also include aerobic exercise so try complete heavy exercise by 6 pm. Some medications may have a stimulating affect like Sudafed or other decongestants cold medicines at night.

Night time tension and anxiety – avoid watching/ reading the news before bed, or paying bills. Try avoid arguments rather discuss some resolution or action plan. Avoid repeated negative judgements about the fact that you are unable to sleep – rather use positive self – talk like phrases “I can fall asleep”, “I can relax”.  Keep a journal next to your bed for writing down any disturbing thoughts that may be running through your mind. There are many mindful relaxation aps that can help a bedtime routine.

Sleep planning and preparation – plan your sleep by putting into your schedule a 7.5 – 8 hours in bed. As much as possible go to sleep and wake up the same time each day. Helping you train your biological clock. Avoid getting into bed after 11pm as late hour sleep is not as helpful as earlier sleep. Avoid naps longer than 45 minutes. Take a hot soak bath of Epsom salts raising your body temperature to help induce sleep.

Strategies to use with trouble falling or staying asleep – don’t stay in bed for more than 2- -30 min trying to fall asleep. Leave your bedroom and go to a relaxing room other than bedroom and read or do a relaxation technique. Consider reading a good book under low light. If you awaken early because of light put a dark covering over your eyes. If you awaken early because of reoccurring thoughts write them in a journal. If this doesn’t help consider counselling.

Noise, light and environment – turn down the lights in area 15 min before bed, consider using amber glasses to decrease light exposure, darken room with heavy curtains, decrease noises in space by closing windows, using ear plugs, turning off any clocks that may make a noise. Try have your devices at least 8 feet away from your bed.

Supplements to help – Melatonin 1 – 5 mg, 5HTP, Taurine, Magnesium, decrease evening cortisol with ashwaganda, L- theanine, lemon balm.

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