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Sleep Better Tonight

Daytime tricks to get your best nighttime sleep.

There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to fall and stay asleep. You know your body is tired, but for some reason sleep evades you. Unfortunately, how you sleep at night has a big impact on your day ahead, so if you don’t sleep well, tomorrow will not be pretty.

Without adequate amounts of continuous nighttime sleep, you may become fatigued, emotional, and unable to focus the following day. So what’s the problem? It may be because of your daily routine. Lifestyle choices, sleep schedule, and bedtime habits all affect your quality of sleep.

With the following tips, you’ll be able to get the eight hours of sleep needed to energize you through a productive day.

Tip # 1: Get Rhythm

Your body has a natural sleep-wake cycle known as your circadian rhythm. Staying as close as you can to this natural schedule by adhering to the same bedtime and wake time each day – even on weekends and holidays – is one of the best ways to achieve a good night’s rest. When the alarm sounds in the morning, you will feel energized and refreshed for a new day.

Tip # 2: Eat Right, Sleep Tight

What you eat and drink during the day impacts your quality of sleep at night. Try not to go to bed hungry or overly stuffed, as this, too may keep you awake.

Don’t drink too much before bed so you won’t have to make a trip to the bathroom in the night. While drinking a little alcohol before bed may help you fall asleep faster, it will actually disrupt your sleep later on. And don’t forget that nicotine and caffeine products are stimulants, which are two things to avoid when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Tip # 3: Increase Activity

Getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day will help you sleep more deeply. Even five minutes here and ten minutes there is beneficial. Some find that exercising late in the day stimulates the body, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Find what works best for you and stick with it.
Make daytime for activity, and night for sleep. This means avoiding naps. If you must nap, keep it short, no longer than 15 to 20 minutes, and about eight hours after you woke up that morning.

Tip # 4: Relax with Rituals

Creating a consistent bedtime routine each evening will send the important message to your brain that it’s time to quiet down. A soothing routine may include activities such as reading a book in low light, a warm bath, soft music, or easy stretches. Watching television or spending time on the computer may energize your brain and interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Your bedroom should be dark, cool, and quiet, and you should spend the money necessary to purchase a comfortable mattress is worth the investment. When you walk into your bedroom you shouldn’t be reminded of chores, work, or to-do lists. Instead, keep your bedroom a place for sleep and sex. Have children and pets? You’ll all sleep better in your own room.

Tip # 5: Check Your Stress

Do you often find it difficult to fall asleep or fall back asleep because your mind is preoccupied with worries or anxieties from the day before or the day ahead? Before going to bed, make a list of all you feel stressed about, as well as a plan of how you’ll deal with it the next day. Then leave the list alone and relax before turning in for the night.

Tip # 6: If All Else Fails

If you’ve tried every trick but still struggle with consistent sleep problems, call your doctor. Your regular physician or a sleep specialist can help determine underlying causes of sleep issues, which may require more intervention than lifestyle changes.

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