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Live Well: Rest Easy

June 7, 2024


As we head into the season of R&R, our June wellness theme is all about that first R: Rest.

Not feeling well-rested? One effective and easy-to-remember strategy for getting better sleep at night is the 10-3-2-1-0 technique:

10: Ten hours before you plan to fall asleep, stop consuming caffeine. Not just coffee, but cola drinks, tea, and even green tea all contain caffeine. If you want to fall asleep by ten at night, finish your last caffeinated beverage by noon.

3: Three hours before bedtime, stop consuming food and alcohol. Your body requires energy to digest food, and even though a big dinner can make you feel ready for a nap, you won’t sleep soundly if you eat right up to bedtime. Same with alcohol: it can make you sleepy, but you likely won’t sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed. After dinner, stick to plain water or a caffeine-free herbal tea like chamomile.

2: Two hours before bedtime, turn off your screens. Even if they’re set to “night mode,” they don’t contribute to restfulness. Let your eyes rest.

1: One hour before bedtime, stop working. A difficult task for the midwifery community! But your brain needs a break to settle into sleep mode.

0: In the morning, zero is the number of times you want to hit the snooze button. When the alarm goes off, get up! If you struggle repeatedly to get up with the alarm, consider resetting it 5 minutes later – or 5 minutes earlier! Getting up at the right time helps your body associate bedtime with sleep time, and puts you on the right track to sleep easy that night.