I have to admit that I'm not a good sleeper and I don't usually get enough of it either.  Ask me...does it affect my mood and my attitude?  Oh, yeah.  Does it affect how I feel physically?  Oh, yeah.  Lack of sleep and/or good sleep affects us all, even if we don't realize it.  So what can we do about it?

So how do you know if you're not getting enough sleep or quality sleep?  Ask yourself these questions:

  • When you wake up in the morning, do you feel exhausted?
  • When you go to bed, do you fall asleep within a couple of minutes instead of a typical 10 to 15 minutes?
  • When you watch TV or if you're just resting, do you fall asleep?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating or remembering things?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Have you noticed any heart arrhythmias?

Outside of the fact that you need to set a regular time to go to sleep that allows you to get enough sleep, there are other things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Set a routine.  Believe it or not, this is good for your body rhythms.  Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times every night.
  • Allow yourself time to relax from thinking.  Stop watching television, stop working on the computer, stop using the phone, etc. and allow yourself to mentally and physically relax for at least half an hour before you want to go to sleep.
  • If you wake up during the night, don't turn on bright lights.  Bright lights can interrupt your circadian rhythm.
  • Don't do things in bed that it's not intended for.  Examples would be watching television, working on a tablet or laptop, etc.

Do your best to let go of your worries when you're in bed.  Tell yourself that you'll think about them again later, when you're awake.