Usually around this time of year, the gym seems to fill with unfamiliar faces; the January Joiners. Perhaps they have made a resolution to lose weight, tone up, or fit in their favorite pair of jeans.
Though the crowded gym is annoying, I applaud the January Joiners. Since I frequent the gym every day, I decided to make a sleep resolution.
Below is a list of habits that can help keep my narcolepsy symptoms in check.
- Make a habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (even weekends!)
- Only spend time in your bedroom sleeping.
- Cut off your phone and computer time an hour before bedtime. The artificial light can suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-producing hormone.
- Exercise early in the day to promote deeper sleep. Working out too close to bedtime can make falling asleep more difficult.
- Skip the booze. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but disrupts sleep patterns, especially in women later in the night.
- Keep dinner light. Ghrelin, your hunger hormone, must be high in order to fall into a deep sleep. If you must have a snack before bed, make it less than 200 calories and high in protein.
- Schedule a nap.
- Have your last cup of coffee (or any caffeine) eight hours before bedtime.
- Sleep in a cool, dark environment.
Remember not only the quantity of sleep is important, but the quality too! These resolutions can help make catching your zzz’s this year a little simpler.
What are your sleep resolutions for 2012?