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Seven Habits To Better Sleep

Apr 4th, 2012

Better sleepIf you have been feeling down and in a slump lately, it might be you are not getting a good night’s sleep.

With quality sleep, we feel better, have clearer thoughts, and have more control of our emotions. Without it, our mood, judgment, and learning skills are in disarray. Many things can affect our ability to achieve sleep nirvana – from the pressure brought about by work and family responsibilities to relationship and health problems.

It may be impossible to control all factors that can interfere with your sleep, there are still things you can do to help get you better sleep.

1. Establish a sleep schedule.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. With a consistent schedule, your body’s sleep-wake cycle is reinforced to help you achieve a better quality sleep. A word of advice: if you find yourself tossing and turning for fifteen minutes, get out of bed and do relaxing activities. Try and go back to sleep only when you’re tired. It is more difficult to doze off if you are anxious over falling asleep.

2. Have a bedtime ritual.
You can tell your body when it’s time for bed by doing the same activities each night. Preferably, you should choose activities that promote relaxation and help calm you down like reading a book or taking a warm bath. Avoid watching TV, using electronic devices like tablets, and activities that stimulate your brain before bedtime as these will interfere with sleep.

3. Make your room comfortable.
Your room should be ideal for sleeping. Try to make it clean, dark, cool, and quiet. You can use dark curtains, a fan, sound dampeners, or other devices to help you achieve a suitable environment. Make sure your bed is the right size. Choose a mattress and pillow that gives the most comfort.

4. Mind what you eat and drink.
Don’t try to sleep when you’re either hungry or stuffed. This can keep you up. Limit your liquid intake before going to bed, to avoid those late-night toilet trips.

Avoid caffeine and nicotine as the stimulating effects can keep you up and disrupt your sleeping pattern. Although it can make you feel sleepy at first, alcohol should be avoided too, since it can interfere with the quality of sleep late into the night.

5. Perform a physical activity during the day.
Physical activities help promote quality sleep. You will fall asleep faster and have a deeper sleep when you regularly engage yourself in physical activities like jogging, working out, or even walking. However, your chosen activity shouldn’t be performed so close to bedtime or you might be too pumped up to fall asleep.

6. Limit naps.
Long naps during the daytime can lead to difficulties of falling asleep during the night. Limit your naps to 10 to 30 minutes and schedule them during mid-afternoons.

7. Manage stress.
When you think about and do too many things, sleeping may be very difficult. Managing stress can put your life back into order and put your mind at ease. Simple things like getting organized, setting priorities, and separating work from personal life can do wonders.

Almost everyone experiences sleeping problems at some point in their lives. But if you have chronic sleeping problems, you may need to contact a physician to help identify and treat any underlying cause. Some health insurance policies cover treatment for sleep disorders while others do not- contact your health insurance carrier for specifics on your plan.

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