Top Rules for a Better Night’s Sleep – from “Sleep Doctor” Michael Breus, Ph.D
1.Sleep in on weekends
Adults who are sleep deprived for five days make up for it somewhat – bouncing back closer to their
baseline brain function and alertness – when they clocked 10 hours the next night, a study in the
journal “Sleep” found.Still it’s best to snooze only an extra hour or two on the weekend.Still tired?
Try a 20-minute nap in the late afternoon.
2.Exercise before bedtime
Working out after dinner has long been considered a “don’t” by sleep docs.But surprise! – it may
actually help you snooze better.The Journal of Sleep Research has stated, “if you have a hard time
falling asleep after exercise, move your workout a little earlier the evening until you find the time that
works best for you.”
3.Snuggle with Fluffy
Feel lonely?If so, you’re likely to wake up more often during the night, according to a University of
Chicago study.“I tell my patients who don’t like sleeping alone to consider a dog,” says Lisa Shives,
M.D., a sleep specialist in Illinois.
4.Play a bedtime story
When you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep, Dr. Shives recommends a
new strategy: quiet your churning mind with an audiobook on your phone or music player, plug in
your earphones, press “play” and cover the display to block the glow.The story shouldn’t be too
stimulating, so choose a biography or your favorite book from childhood.If television has always
been a snoozing aid for you, follow Dr. Breus’ trick: use a television with a sleep timer and set it to
switch off after 30 minutes.
5.Think before you drink
It’s generally a good idea to cut off coffee, soda, or energy drinks 7 to 8 hours before bedtime.Be
aware that a nightcap can be as disastrous for your slumber as an after dinner cappuccino.Under
the influence of alcohol, you may snooze in seconds, but you will wake up 4 or 5 hours later.
According to Dr. Breus, have your last drink 3 hours before you turn in.