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Steps for better sleep

As promised, here is a summary of some very useful tips for better sleep, as published in The Psychotherapy Networker, March / April 2008 edition, vol. 32, no. 2, pg 37.

1. Pay attention to your daily rhythms — make sure you get some exposure to sunlight every day, especially morning sun. This tells your body that it’s time to be awake. Make sure you get rest during the day, meaning downtime. This is especially important in the evening. We all need to wind down.

2. Keep your body healthy — too much alcohol and / or caffeine is not a good idea. It’s important to know when you are tired, and to let your body signal when it’s winding down, naturally. Getting regular cardiovascular exercise helps, in so many ways.

3. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. It should be cool, dark and quiet at night. The less clutter the better, and it goes without saying that it’s best to keep work in a separate area if at all possible.

4. Acknowledge nighttime. Turn down the lights. Avoid using the computer and television too close to bedtime. Instead, consider reading, writing, a warm bath, and relationship time!

5. Allow sleep to come, by using relaxation techniques and deep-breathing exercises. It’s ok to lie quietly and finish winding down, as your body transitions from wakefulness to rest to sleep.

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