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Updated: Jan 1, 2021

So it’s 3:00am and you are awake. Staring at the ceiling, again, for the 3rd night in a row. Running through the next day’s list of events, activities, chores, schedules…3:30, 4:00, 4:30…..*BRRRRRRRRRRRRING* 5:30—get up. Sound familiar?

I get this a lot. People have lots of trouble sleeping. COVID-19 hasn’t helped.

So what can be done? Of course there are sleeping pills, some safe, some not so much. But how do I get better quality sleep without medications?

Well, glad you asked!

I read something, not too long ago, that said if you could just disconnect from the world and go to a secluded place, outside for 7 days, you would come back with a reset circadian rhythm and your sleep troubles would be gone. Well, okay, that sounds great—but let’s be real, I don’t do outside sleep (just ask my husband—we went glamping and I made it one night!)

Here is a list do's and don'ts to assist with better quality sleep:

DO turn off your phone about 2 hours before you go to sleep (the back lighting is actually a stimulation for the wake center of your brain)—yes that includes back-lit kindles (like the Fire).

DON’T drink caffeine after lunch time (no explanation needed on this one).

DO exercise, DON’T do it within 2 hours of sleeping.

DO use your bed for sleep and sex. DON’T use it for anything else (reading, napping, TV watching…)

DO Get the TVs out of the bedroom—or at least DON’T turn them on.

DO move your clock. Studies show, the more you look at a clock, the more it makes your brain turn and decreased the ability to fall asleep.

DO take hot baths, drink warm milk, lavender scents (yes, this may actually be a great time for essential oils—unicorn tears as my friends call it)

Stick to a schedule—it doesn’t just work for your kids!

And if you still are having sleepless nights, call your doctor—there are ways we can help!

…until next time, #IrishDoc07

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