Fall Into Healthy Routines

Though our days of going back to school are long over, let’s face it: summer tends to bring Fridays off, bosses on vacation, weekend fun and a laid-back atmosphere at work and home. Now that Labor Day Weekend is in our rearview mirrors, every-day life is becoming more hustle-and-bustle than R&R.

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Though your work schedule may have hit you suddenly and like a ton of bricks, the best way to get back into a steady fall routine is to ease back into it, especially when it comes to sleep. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wide-awake in bed, going over your to-do list in between counting sheep. Try to do it over a two-week period. If you need to be in bed by 9:55pm, plan to hit the hay at 11:05pm tonight, then gradually reduce bedtime by five minutes each day thereafter.

If you have children, it’s best to tuck them in before you head to sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation adolescents and adults require about 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Physicians, teachers and counselors are all adamant about the fact that a child who sleeps the optimal amount of hours for their age will be able to better maximize educational resources during the day.

It’s tempting to cancel out groggy vibes with sugar and caffeine, but resist the urge. The amount of sugar and caffeine a person can handle before it affects their sleep will vary person to person. Experiment by lowering your intake of each a little bit each day and see if it helps you get to bed sooner.

Besides helping you get to sleep, reducing the sugar and caffeine rush will also help jumpstart a healthy diet. Streamline your morning routine by planning breakfast meals ahead of time. For variety, I would recommend having a different breakfast option for each day of the week.  For example: oatmeal on Monday, eggs Tuesday, whole-wheat muffins Wednesday, bran cereal Thursday and veggie omelets Friday.

Tell us: How are you getting back into your fall routine?

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.