Visions and dreams of sugar plums and all that are part of the holiday season
, but some of us are simply bad sleepers. With sleep playing such a crucial role in how you feel, act and perform each day, we should be sleeping nine or ten uninterrupted hours every night to rejuvenate, let our bodies grow and develop and allow our minds time to process ideas and learning from the day before. Lying awake for hours every night or tossing and turning are not any fun, especially when youíre doing your best to fall asleep and canít.
One of the best things you can do in all areas of your life is exercise. Exercising in the afternoon or evening helps your body burn off extra energy and fuel and releases plenty of healthy hormones into your blood stream. You feel a burst of extra energy after you finish a workout or walk, and as the night goes on, that energy fades leaving you with a satisfied, tired feeling. Use that feeling as a clue telling you when to go to bed. Since your muscles are nice and loose and your mind is relaxed having had a chance to relieve extra thoughts and stress, you should be able to fall asleep easily and stay that way.
Shower at Night
Taking a warm, relaxing shower at night before bed rather than waiting until the morning can help remind your body that itís time to relax, stretch and get ready for rest. A hot shower relaxes you and gives you time to wind down from a busy day. The hot shower or bath is luxurious and you can wrap yourself in comfy pajamas and fall right into your squishy bed after getting clean for the night. You also have the added benefit of being able to sleep a bit later in the morning before you have to drag yourself out of bed to start your day.
Finish Your Chores
You might not consider homework a chore, but if you finish everything you need to do every night before laying down to sleep, you will be able to rest and stretch out knowing you left nothing undone. You can relax knowing the day is done and youíve accomplished all of your goals. A checklist of what you want or need to do each day is a great way to show how much youíve gotten done and to allow yourself to relax and worry less at the end of every day. Youíll be able to see your progress and not lay there trying to remember if you had homework in a particular class or if you needed to take care of something for a group project.
Cut Off Communications
One of the ongoing trends of kids our age is to leave ourselves connected to the world while we are sleeping. While itís wonderful to care enough about your friends to stay in touch, they donít really need your advice at 2 am. When you go to bed, turn off your computer, or your monitor at least, and put your cell phone well away from you. Nothing is going to happen in the eight or nine hours that youíre sleeping that can be resolved when you wake up in the morning. If you make it a rule that you donít text, message or take calls during sleeping hours, your friends might catch on, too. Soon everyone will be better rested.