A Sleep Easy Routine

Establishing an easy sleep routine is not as simple as it may seem due to work schedules, children activities or just trying to get your home work done prior to retiring. Your body requires sleeping a number of hours each night in order to stay healthy. Hormones such as melatonin establish your bodies sleep/wake cycle. Each day your mental and physical functions reduce as your melatonin production increases which in turn causes drowsiness. If we don't go to sleep when our body is ready and we don't get enough sleep, it can cause daytime restlessness, lack of concentration or in some cases depression.

Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation. Getting to bed at the same time each night and waking up naturally without an alarm clock can help you feel more alert during the day. You won't feel fatigued, suffer from forgetfulness or look tired.

Some important things to remember to establish an easy sleep routine are:

1. Don't exercise late at night. Working out only increases your heart rate and causes you to overheat.

2. Keep your room temperature at 65 degrees or less, otherwise your body may become too warm causing you to wake up during the night.

3. Eating prior to retiring may cause indigestion or heartburn. It is recommended to eat 2 -3 hours prior to going to bed. If you want a snack, eat foods that relax you. Foods full of tryptophan cause drowsiness.

Also you can try natural sleep supplements such as; hops, passion flower extract, valerian or cat nip alone or combined for more potency. Melatonin is also available in capsule form and available at most pharmacies or health food stores.

If you want to have some tea or warm milk before bedtime, limit the amount to prevent waking during the night to go to the bathroom. Make your bed as comfortable as possible. You may consider a memory foam mattress topper to establish equal body pressure, especially if you sleep on your side.

The most important thing that you can do to establish a routine is allow yourself time to unwind from your daily stress and activities. Read a book, listen to some mellow music or write in a sleep journal. Keeping a sleep journal will determine what has helped you establish your easy sleep routine. If you feel you may have insomnia or another sleep disorder you should talk to your doctor. He may recommend alternative medication or he may refer you to a sleep specialist for further treatment.