• How To Get the Sleep You Need

    Change is notorious for messing with peoples’ sleep schedules. Many people are experiencing trouble for the first time during this COVID-19 crisis.  If you or your child are having trouble sleeping or just want to get a better night’s sleep, then give these sleeping tips a try.

    • Create a comfortable sleep environment. Having a comfortable bedroom can help you sleep better.  Ask yourself how you slept last night, taking note of things like temperature and firmness of mattresses and pillows. Make note of anything that got in the way of your sleep. Make sure your bed and pillows feel good to you and that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet when you go to sleep.
    • Go outside and exercise during the day. Sitting for too long and not being active during the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Do something active each day – go for a walk or bike ride, play a sport with friends or your kids, or exercise. Go outside once a day and get some sunlight too. Both of these will help you feel more awake during the day and more tired at night.
    • Practice winding down in the evenings. Create a nightly routine.  Practice clearing your mind by doing something calming like meditating, taking a hot bath, stretching, or reading.  If you tend to worry a lot at night, you can also clear your mind by writing down a list of things to do or worry about tomorrow. Then, remind yourself that you can think about it tomorrow and it’s OK to relax and not think about it right now. Avoid doing things that can amp you up right before bed like playing video games, exercising, arguing, or last-minute work or homework.
    • Remember that your bed is for sleeping. Teach your body that bed = sleep. You may be in the habit of using your phone in bed to answer emails, be on social media, or watch videos. All of these things teach your body to be alert and awake when you are in bed which makes it harder to sleep at night. Make sure that you only get into bed when you are tired and ready to fall asleep. If you can’t fall asleep right away, get out of bed and do something calming for 30 minutes before trying to sleep again.


    What if I’ve tried these tips but still have trouble sleeping? Sleep problems can be complicated, frustrating, and overwhelming. If your sleeping problems have lasted longer than a week or made it hard for you to take care of yourself and your responsibilities, it may be time to reach out for help. Many people find that with the help of a therapist, they are able to sleep better and feel more in control of their sleep schedule.


    -By Jennifer Waldo