By Eric Wettstein, Health and Performance Consultant for FloridaHospital


If you feel tired or exhausted everyday or don’t feel you get adequate sleep every night, follow these “bedtime rules”.  Not following these tips may be giving you that drained feeling:

  1. Get in a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.  8 hours or greater is optimal.  For example: if you need to awake at 6am, make sure it’s lights out no later than 11pm.
  2. Go to sleep at approximately the same time every night. It helps in keeping your circadian rhythm- which helps with stress and weight loss.
  3. 4-6 hours before you sleep– NO caffeine.
  4. 2-3 hours before you sleep don’t eat a large meal.  A small healthy snack is fine.
  5. 1 hour before you sleep turn off all electronics. Gadgets, TVs, etc. This over-stimulates the mind and it becomes more difficult to fall asleep and get the deep sleep we all need for tomorrow’s tasks.
  6. 30 minutes before  you sleep, drink something soothing/calming like chamomile,  lowfat milk, etc.
  7. 5 minutes before bedtime, make it dark and cool.
  8.  ** If you do not fall asleep within about 15 minutes of laying down

–Do not stay in bed and “fight it”! It only makes it harder to fall asleep.  Get up and take a walk, read a book, meditate, etc.—NO TV!

Sleeping doesn’t happen like an On/Off switch. Hence, the term “falling asleep”. It is much more than just laying your head down on a pillow and closing your eyes.  It takes a little “prep time” for bed (sometimes hours before) in order to feel well rested for the following day. Keep in mind the best sleep comes from REM sleep (Random Eye Movement).  You ever notice how some days you can get less than 6 hours of sleep and feel vibrant all day long, and other days you can get 9 hours of sleep and feel tired? That’s because it’s about quality versus quantity of sleep.  You could feel better rested from 5 hours of REM sleep compared to 9 hours of sleep where you have “tiny wake-ups”(unknowingly waking up) throughout the night.

Sweet Dreams!