- Ensure that your bedroom is set up for sleep. It should be cool and comfortable with sheets made of cotton or bamboo.
- Wear loose fitting sleeveless nightwear.
- A ceiling fan is essential if you live in a hot climate but a pedestal fan will do. Make sure that the room is dark. If your partner is a snorer, it is a good idea to have another bed to retreat to if possible.
- Eliminate blue light after 6pm. If you are watching television or a computer screen, you can use blue light block glasses. Order them online for a few dollars. There are ones that fit over normal eye glasses too.
- Eat at least 3 hours before going to bed. Ensure your food is not still being digested by the time you want to go to sleep as this is more likely to keep you awake.
- Have a consistent sleep routine. Going to bed at the same time each night will help your body know when it is time for bed. Your natural circadian cycle will be in play.
- Meditate just before bed.
- Melatonin is naturally produced by the body in preparation for sleep. Your doctor can prescribe this for you. In Australia a doctor can prescribe up to 6mg. In the USA you can buy it at greater doses, but doctors say that doses over 6 mg does not make you sleep any better.
- Avoid caffeine after 12pm.
- Sip cool water throughout the night if wake up.
- Avoid drinking too much water a couple of hours before going to bed and empty your bladder just before going to bed. This will ensure there is less chance that you don’t wake up and have to go to the loo in the middle of the night and then not be able to go back to sleep.
- Avoid alcohol. It will dehydrate you during the night and wake you up to go to the loo.
- If you are waking up due to night sweats, keep a frozen cold pack under the pillow and turn the pillow over regularly so your head is always resting in a cool place. A cold pack at your feet can also help.
- If you are desperate, your doctor can prescribe sleeping tablets. But…this is a last resort.
Irritability and Mood Changes
Much irritability is due to sleep deprivation. Dealing with this first will definitely help reduce irritability symptoms.
- Get massages.
- Exercise regularly to increase your natural endorphins (feel good chemicals).
- Meditate daily and allow your mind to come to rest.
- Eat well. An alkaline diet will help you deal with moodiness.
- Take St John’s Wort (consult doctor first as it may have contraindications with other medications) and Vitamin B complex (see doctor about this too as it is a good idea to have levels checked first by having a blood test).