It may seem that falling asleep is something we all know how to do, because we do it every night. But do you really know how to fall asleep? Some routines and techniques will lead to much more effective sleep than others.
Henry is his own worst enemy when it comes to getting his needed sleep. After racing all day at work, he continues his relentless pace into his non-work hours, trying to squeeze in all of the things he needs or wants to do. At some late hour he gets hit with fatigue. It's the first time since awakening early that morning that he has even thought about sleep.
But sound sleep is not what Henry typically experiences. After driving his body and mind at 80 miles per hour for the entire day and evening, he slams on the brakes and rolls into bed. While his intention is to sleep, his mind and body are not ready. He's taken no time or effort to prepare himself for a good night's sleep. But should he?
The answer is a definite yes, despite the fact that most people don't. That lack of preparation could have something to do with the fact that more than half the population of the United States complains of sleep problems. This chapter is designed to help you prepare yourself and your sleep environment for a good night's rest.
In order to maximize your sleep time, there are four main considerations. You must:
- Begin your preparations for sleep during the day
- Schedule your sleep patterns deliberately
- Practice habits that help your body to relax before sleep
- Control your sleep environment
From the moment you wake up in the morning, you have choices to make that can affect how well you sleep that night. Making wise choices throughout the day can help you sleep soundly at night and awaken with renewed energy.
One such choice is to get regular exercise. The next page explains when you should work out to sleep better at night.