Getting Restful Sleep

artwork by Heidi Bosch Romano Getting enough high-quality sleep allows your body to rejuvenate itself and is an important element in achieving good health. But many of us have trouble falling asleep.

Sleep Guidelines

Avoid stimulating drinks and activities at least an hour before bedtime.

Relax your body by doing a brief warm-up followed by gentle stretching.

Soak your feet in Epsom salts or take a warm bath.

Take your mind off worrying about tomorrow's tasks by making a "to do" list.

Lie down in bed, then quiet your mind by focusing on your breathing. Breathe in slowly, pausing briefly, then let out your breath slowly. Repeat until you feel relaxed. It should only take a few minutes.

Relieve tension by tightening then relaxing every set of muscles in your body, working your way down from your head to your toes.

Focus your mind on peaceful settings. Visualizing that you are in a quiet, natural setting. Feel the warm sun and soft cool breeze on your skin. Imagine the fresh scents of plants that you enjoy.

Block distractions by playing relaxing music, the sounds of nature, or by turning on a fan or air purifier.

Unwind by reading or listening to a relaxing book.

Take Naps

Sometimes your schedule may be so busy that you get very little sleep. Naps are a great way to feel refreshed and make up for lost sleep. Just set a good alarm and rest for 10 to 15 minutes whenever you get a chance. Once you get into the habit of napping, your body will get used to your scheduled rest period and it will be easier to drop off to sleep and return to work feeling refreshed.