"Oh, how I long for a good night's sleep!" For optimum health and function, the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. However, more than 60% of women get less. This may be caused by insomnia or perhaps an underlying medical condition that may require a visit to your PCP. However, the biggest problem for most women suffering from too little sleep is they burn the candle at both ends - consistently failing to get to bed on time or not staying in bed long enough. Remember getting enough sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and a regular exercise program.
So starting tonight make your own sleep hygiene management program using the following tips:
1. Design a sleep transition period at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Take a warm bath, or
shower, take time to apply body lotion and foot cream. Keep the temperature on the cool side.
No television, computer, smartphone or tablet should be allowed in your bedroom.
2. Taking a nap at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. But naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night so rule of thumb limit naps to 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours; therefore, best to avoid caffeine after noon.
Alcohol can act as a sedative, but it also disturbs sleep.
4, Keep a regular exercise program, but limit exercise within three hours of bedtime.
5. In order to avoid slipping into a new sleep debt cycle, try to go to bed and get up at the same
time every day — at the very least, on weekdays. If need be, use weekends to make up for lost sleep.
Resource: A Guide to Women's Health: Fifty and Forward, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.