Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health. Anyone who has trouble sleeping at night knows how much damage a restless night will do. Not sleeping well, or sleeping less each night than you should, often leads to decreased energy and mood, lower immune function, and even decreased heart health. Sleep deprivation doesn’t have to be your destiny. Try some of the following tips to getting great sleep, skip counting sheep, and rest your way to greater health and happiness.
10 Tips for Great Sleep
1. Set a Sleep Schedule
When you set a sleep schedule and stick to it, your body becomes accustomed to the patterns you set forth. Going to sleep at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning sets your biological clock in a healthy rhythm and maximises your potential to sleep soundly night after night.
2. Put Away Electronics
Start making a habit of getting off the computer, silencing your phone, and turning off the TV about an hour each night before you go to bed. Outside stimulation from electronic devices stimulates the mind and makes it harder to get into the placid place you need to fall asleep and stay asleep.
3. Cut the Caffeine
Are you reaching for that afternoon cup of coffee to keep your body going? You’re not alone. Many people that suffer from lack of sleep rely on stimulants to keep them going throughout the day. While you don’t need to forgo the morning java, cutting caffeine intake after 2pm will immensely help your sleep patterns, not only helping you to easier fall asleep but to stay asleep after you’re there.
4. Quit Smoking
If cigarettes weren’t bad enough, they are also guilty of interrupting healthy sleep patterns. Nicotine is a stimulant and keeps you from falling asleep. Smoking also stimulates sleep apnea and disrupts normal breathing patterns.
5. Cut out Alcohol
While alcohol itself won’t keep you from a good night’s sleep, cutting out alcohol at least two hours before bedtime will help you sleep better. After a few hours from your last drink, alcohol levels in the blood start to drop which signals your body to wake up. Eliminate this by having your last drink of the evening well before bedtime.
6. Have a Bedtime Snack
There are certain foods that will lure you into a better night’s sleep. Carbohydrates and a calcium or protein (think crackers and cheese or whole grain toast and nut butter). The combination of these will boost serotonin and help you to feel calm.
7. Listen to Calming Music
Listening to calming music or landscape sounds such as ocean waves will help calm the mind and put you in a place where you will sleep well. Your body will melt away the stresses of the day as your mind drifts to sleep under light, comforting distraction.
8. Use Aromatherapy
There are certain scents that induce calm and incorporating these before bedtime will help guide your mind to a tranquil spot that will help you fall into a peaceful sleep. Lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are all scents that will help you catch your z’s. Try dabbing them on pulse points, inhaling their scent in your palms, or burning in an oil diffuser before bed.
9.Cut out the Light
Any light signals your body that it is time to wake up. Cutting out light (including computer screens, phones, and bedside clocks) will help your body produce the melatonin it needs to help you fall asleep and stay sleeping. It’s pretty basic. The darker your room, the better you’ll sleep.
Meditation is an excellent way to sleep better. Good for just about everything, meditating at night before bed will help calm your mind and ease the thoughts that may be keeping you awake. A calm mind is a healthy mind, and a healthy mind is one that finds it easy to get a great night’s sleep.
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