5 Steps to Better Sleep
If you are not getting enough shut-eye, then take heed, because lack of sleep has been linked to increased health risks in a number of areas such as heart disease, obesity, and chronic fatigue. So, why are we having trouble getting enough sleep? Stress from work or family, anxiety, illness, allergies, diet factors such as too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol, are just some of the reasons.
We cannot completely control our stress levels, but we can try to slow down in the evening, relax or meditate for a few minutes, and prepare our bodies for a good night’s sleep. Nothingg prepares us better to lead a productive next day than getting good quality and an adequate quantity of sleep.
Improving your quality and quantity of sleep
If you suspect you need to improve your quality and quantity of sleep, here are some hints for getting you the sleep your body deserves:
1. LIGHT OFF - Improve the sleep environment, i.e. comfortable mattress and pillows, quiet, dark, comfortable room temperature.
2. WIND DOWN, TEMP DOWN - Take 1/2 hour before bed to use for relaxing, such as soothing in a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, and/or listening to calming music.
3. KITCHENS CLOSED - Eat dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime.
4. AVOID THE BUZZ - Avoid products containing caffeine. If you have trouble sleeping, this is very important! Do not consume caffeine after 2pm if you have trouble sleeping. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime as if can interfere with your sleep later in the night. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. As your sugar level drops during the night, your sleep may be disrupted.
5. SLEEP CYCLE RITUAL - Establish regular times for bed and for waking.
Get plenty of regular exercise and try to complete your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime. Exercise increases the amount of deep sleep you get. Aerobic exercise each day and weight lifting twice a week is optimum.
Don’t drink liquids before bedtime. Drinking liquids before bed time could be causing you to wake up because you have to urinate.