7 Ways to Get More Sleep

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By: , – Michele Bender, Family Circle
1/15/2013 6:00 AM   :  12 comments   :  18,473 Views

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In an attempt to do more laundry or squeeze in another episode of The Good Wife, almost all of us skimp on sleep. And that includes the Lehmans and Avaglianos. So we used data from their Fitbit Ultra activity and sleep trackers as well as their interviews with Robert Oexman, D.C., director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Missouri, to create personalized goals that would get them the rest they need. "Just like going to work and the gym, you have to make a commitment to quality rest," says Dr. Oexman. "Once you stop cheating the clock, you’ll look, feel and function better." Here’s how our families put zzz’s at the top of their list—and how you can snooze better too.
 


How the Lehmans Won
 
After a neighbor's home was broken into almost a year ago, Anna started coming into her parents' room in the middle of the night and sleeping on the floor. "She was scared that the same thing was going to happen to us and the person would take not just our things but her too," says Tiffany. "She would almost cry because she didn’t want to stay in her room." And although Anna didn’t wake her parents, kids don’t rest well on the floor, says Dr. Oexman. Tiffany also had an issue to tackle for this challenge: A self-described night owl, she didn’t turn in until 11 p.m. or later. As a result, she was not getting enough shut-eye and was skimping on time with Andy, who often hit the hay by 9:30 p.m. "Sleep wasn’t something that I really invested much in before," says Tiffany. "But I realize now that it’s a vital part of weight loss and overall health." The result of their new and improved bedtime habits? Andy has more energy and is down 2 pounds. Tiffany dropped 2 pounds as well.
 
Their Top Tips
 
Go to bed together. Instead of spending mindless hours online or watching TV, Tiffany curbed her night owl tendencies and turned in when Andy did. "I really enjoyed that time we had together at the end of the day," says Tiffany. "We talked, got to snuggle and had more intimacy." All this made Tiffany realize that getting the right amount of sleep is "totally worth it!"
 
Keep the kids out. After just two nights of following Dr. Oexman’s method (see "Reclaiming Your Bed" on page 137), Anna was snoozing in her own  room the entire night. One important thing: Dr. Oexman assured Anna that her fears were normal for a kid her age. "This way she didn’t feel odd about doing this on a nightly basis," says Tiffany. "Now she’s sleeping great and wakes up in a much better mood!"
 
Click here for more sleep tips from Family Circle.

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Comments

  • KAYYAK1
    12
    Getting to sleep is no problem but staying asleep is another matter. If I get 4 hours sleep at night I consider myself lucky. Needless to say that I am sleep deprived. - 1/18/2013   12:07:33 PM
  • 11
    I struggle to get enough sleep because I have hot flashes. DH is always cold so he likes heavy covers. I spend a good portion of the night in and out of the cover. I do sleep some better since I stopped drinking after dinner coffee and took up decaf herbal tea instead. - 1/16/2013   9:19:14 PM
  • 10
    I go to bed almost every night around 9:30 - 10:00 and sleep until around 6:00 a.m. Of course there are nights when I am just not tired but this is very rare. When you are busy during the day and work out you are tired at night.
    Reading is good in the evening too. - 1/16/2013   7:45:12 PM
  • NLYR20
    9
    Reading a book puts me to sleep. I wanted to make it a habit for adequate sleep... - 1/16/2013   8:43:25 AM
  • 8
    I downloaded "sleep deeply" from itunes and listen to it going to bed - helps tremendously - 1/16/2013   7:19:51 AM
  • JMB369
    7
    The biggest change we've made is to use a white noise machine. I know I also sleep better if I am off the computer at least a half hour before I go to bed. Best night's sleep is when I add a cup of herb tea and reading to this routine -- but I read in the living room, not the bedroom. Neither of us reads or watches TV in the bedroom. It's for sleep and sex only. Oh, and an open window. cool, fresh air helps. My biggest problem is that if I wake up after 2 or 3, it's sometimes difficult to fall back asleep. Deep brething with an extended exhale almost always solves the problem. - 1/16/2013   7:08:50 AM
  • 6
    I'm working hard to get 7 hours or more sleep and it's HARDER than working out smh. I finally after decades started turning off the television at night. I would think I needed it on to sleep. Although I'm still working on getting the total hours I find that a dark room is the best room to sleep in. Thanks for the blog! - 1/15/2013   10:32:32 PM
  • 5
    Use EAR PLUGS and an EYE MASK. It keeps you from hearing a lot of noise and makes the room dark if you have to deal with the other person turning on the TV or lights. - 1/15/2013   5:01:34 PM
  • 4
    I need to try this also. I was still wide awake at 4:30 a.m. without a clue as to the reason. This happens on and off, but too much recently. - 1/15/2013   12:01:34 PM
  • MIZINFO2003
    3
    i will try it
    - 1/15/2013   10:20:17 AM
  • 2
    I am so guilty of this. I find if I turn off the tv at 9 and do my night routine (brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc) and then go to bed with a book if I'm still awake, I sleep much better. - 1/15/2013   9:10:03 AM
  • PINKSPARKLE1965
    1
    I thing sleep is so important.. for Us.. as our brain needs rest.. - 1/15/2013   7:10:30 AM

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