Mar 10, 2016

5 Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep

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Warm weather is approaching, and many of us want to be active, feel great, and have the extra spring in our step as we look forward to the warmer months. Sleep is a critical component of any healthy lifestyle. Many people have trouble sleeping, and don’t properly address the issue which only makes it worse. Insomnia leads to many physical and emotional problems such as:

  • Increased risk of illness
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased work and academic performance

The last point, decreased work performance, can also lead to safety issues in the workplace, which can be costly for you and your employer.

Here are 5 ways you can improve your sleep without medications, and we are sure your daily life will improve when you sleep better.

  1. Get your body on a consistent sleep schedule
    Establishing a consistent sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends, can dramatically improve the way you sleep and feel. Your body loves nothing more than a consistent schedule. It takes two to three weeks for your body to establish a consistent sleep schedule. Your body will respond positively to the schedule, and it will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed.
  2. Bedtime routines are important to wind down
    Create and stick to a regular, relaxing wind down routine before bed. The best routines DO NOT INCLUDE A COMPUTER, mobile device or other screens. If you’ve been at a computer for a good part of the day, the strain on your eyes can impact your sleep. Try reading, soothing music, calming baths and mindfulness exercise like deep breathing or meditation. In short, we want to encourage people to take part in activities that are relaxing, minimize artificial light and put the mind at ease.
  3. Avoid sleep distractions
    Whether or not you know it, you can be distracted while you are sleeping. Try and eliminate TV, computers, cell phones and radios that can often create noises throughout the night and awaken us while we sleep. Interrupted sleep is the worst type of sleep, as many people never fully reach the deep sleep linked to feeling rested and refreshed.
  4. Stay active and healthy
    Exercising regularly is a major key to anybody’s health. Daily exercise is not only helpful for sleep, but has many other positive health benefits. Another healthy tip for a good night’s sleep is to finish eating heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Soda and caffeinated beverages contribute to restlessness and make it difficult to unwind and get adequate sleep, so avoid these within several hours of bedtime.
  5. If you can’t sleep, don’t just lie there
    We have all had those nights where we are trying to sleep and simply cannot. If you cannot fall asleep in 20-30 minutes, leave your bed and go do something distracting. Then, give it another shot when you start feeling tired. Lying in bed feeling stressed about not being able to fall asleep will only keep you awake longer.

There could be other factors affecting your sleep. Sometimes stress or other variables contribute to sleepless nights, or cause interruptions in your sleep. AWANE has a very strong Employee Assistance Program available if your reasons for not sleeping are more complex or require additional guidance.

Healthy employees are more productive and happier employees. Healthy employees are more productive and happier employees.

Please contact us to learn more about our programs. Since 1929, AWANE has been serving the automotive, roads, fuel, and related industries with best in class employee benefit solutions, administrative support, and much more. Our power in numbers and track record of a 99% retention rate speaks for itself!