The 12 Step Sleep Rehab Program
This is the first post in our new series on sleep – The 12 Step Sleep Routine Rehab program. This isn’t a program to treat addiction – it’s meant to take you through a series of (handily-enough, 12) steps to address the different areas of your daily routine that affect your ability to fall asleep at night. We want to give you the tools to take back control, and make falling asleep enjoyable again.
Yes, there will be 12 blog posts. Each post will have specific tips, easy changes to your routine, and other small steps that you can take. At the end of 12 weeks, after these small changes you will have addressed (or at least be conscious of) many of the situations and choices you make that influence your ability to sleep. Taken in small steps, these changes should be easier to focus on and will not seem overwhelming.
Week 1 – Morning Routine: From what you have for breakfast to the time you get out the door, your morning routine is the start of your sleep pattern.
Week 2 – Exercise: Your body want to sleep when you are tired. Picking the right time to exercise and the right kind of exercise is important!
Week 3 – At Work: Stress and anxiety on the job has a huge impact on sleep. We can’t all have easy jobs, but there are things you can do to naturally control stress.
Week 4 – The Caffeine Cutoff: Caffeine is the enemy of sleep. That’s why we use it! But it can also be your enemy at bed time. Find out how the rules of the road for caffeine and sleep.
Week 5 – Lunch: What you eat and when you eat can impact your ability to sleep. We cover some basic food-sleep rules.
Week 6 – The Commute Home: If you’re not falling asleep at the wheel, most people think the drive home has nothing to do with sleep. Wrong!
Week 7 – Dinner: This is the last meal before bed time (or should be!) so it has even more effect on sleep. From meal choice to timing, its important to choose a dinner that will help you sleep.
Week 8 – Night Time TV: An overactive mind is one of the leading causes of sleeplessness. Choose the amount and kind of TV wisely. And don’t fall asleep in front of the TV.
Week 9 – Sleep Hygiene: Bathing at night, at the right time, is an important part of sleep but so are other hygiene rituals as well as ensuring your sleeping area is clean.
Week 10 – Sleep Rituals: A nightly routine can be a great way to prepare for sleep. We go over some great sleep ritual ideas and some less-than-great ones.
Week 11 – Bedtime: Ok, you’re in bed…now what? This is the most important part of falling asleep. We go over some tips and tricks for getting to sleep easily.
Week 12 – Falling Back Asleep: You just need to fall asleep once? Lucky you! Many people wake up at night, either on their own or because of a child or other environmental factors. We cover how to get back to sleep successfully.
Start thinking about these topics, note if any of them have been a particular problem for you and check back when we post each week!
Disclaimer time! We’re not doctors and these methods are not medically proven. If you work on these topics and still experience trouble sleeping you may want to consider seeing a sleep doctor.