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Bedtime Routine Ideas for a Better Night’s Sleep

Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Tue 11/24/2015 - 09:00

As children, our bedtime routines are often as simple as counting sheep to fall asleep. But with age, certain sounds or distractions can start to affect our sleep. If you are having trouble falling and staying asleep at night, Dr. Ivan Stein and the team at New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions suggest incorporating a solid bedtime routine. Here, we share a few practices and habits that you can incorporate into your routine in the hopes of enjoying restful sleep.

Wind Down with Relaxing Activities

Spend the last hour before sleep doing a calming activity. This makes a clear transition between wake time and sleep time. Some people enjoy taking a warm bath, and the rise and subsequent fall in body temperature triggers drowsiness. Others prefer to read or watch a funny television show. Deep breathing can also help. The goal is to avoid any physically or psychologically stressful activities — including emotionally taxing discussions — that could cause a spike in the stress hormone cortisol (which increases alertness).

Set the Mood for Sleep

To set the mood for quality sleep, make your bedroom a quiet, dark and cool sanctuary. Dim the lights and consider installing blackout curtains if outside light filters in. Set the temperature of your room somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Eliminate or lower outside noise that could disrupt your sleep; use earplugs or a white noise machine to block out the noise. If your mattress is over 10 years old and too firm, lumpy or creaky, consider replacing it with a more comfortable model. Update flat, lumpy pillows with newer, softer pillows. If you suffer from allergies, look for allergen-free pillows and linens.

Eliminate Other Distractions

Think about triggers that regularly keep you awake at night. If you usually stare at a clock in your bedroom, turn the clock’s face away from you. If your pet tends to wake you in the middle of the night, put its bed in another room. Don’t eat any big or spicy meals that could cause indigestion and make it difficult to sleep. Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening, which may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night.

Strengthen the Association between Bed and Sleep

Experts believe you should create a strong mental association between your bed and sleep. It is recommended you use your bed only for sleep and sex. Don’t bring work, computers or televisions into your sleep environment.

Do You Still Have Trouble Sleeping?

If you follow these tips but still struggle to get a good night’s rest, you might suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Ivan Stein at New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions by calling (855) WHY-SNORE or (855) 949-7667.