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How To Sleep Better At Night For Better Health

Posted Oct 09 2012 1:29pm

Many adults in the United States suffer from insomnia, at least on an occasional basis. Getting enough sleep is critical to maintaining your health, because your body needs the time to rest on a regular basis. Many people turn to medication to help induce sleep, but this isn’t always necessary. Use some of these tricks to help you get better sleep and get back on track with your help.

Develop good sleep habits

Your body uses a wide range of cues to relax and get ready to sleep each night, so develop routines that will help your body know when it’s time to sleep. Stick to a consistent bedtime and a consistent time to wake up each morning, and set your internal clock.

Sleep picture

Getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your health.

You’ll start to naturally feel tired at bedtime and awake at your normal rising time. In addition, get in the habit of turning down lights about 30 minutes before your bedtime to help your body wind down.

Break rules

Although it’s generally good advice to keep wakeful activities, such as paying bills, talking on the phone or eating, out of your bed, you can still use some quieter activities to lull you to sleep. Reading in bed with a dim reading light can help you feel drowsier and get your body to wind down.

A boring DVD or podcast can also give you something to listen to as you drift off to sleep, although you should try to avoid watching a bright TV, which can hinder the production of melatonin.

Develop ambiance

Your sleeping environment should be a comfortable and relaxing one, so you feel peaceful when you’re getting ready to sleep. Consider a cool, calming color scheme in your bedroom and window treatments to block out any light from the street, and even help cut down on noise pollution. In addition, make sure you have a mattress that feels comfortable and doesn’t hinder your sleep, not only when you’re drifting off to sleep but during the night as well.

Limit bedtime food and drinks

Definitely stay away from caffeine during the hours before bed; even cut it out during the afternoon if you’re highly sensitive to caffeine. Alcohol before bed is also a bad choice because it can cause wakefulness later in the night. In addition, try to stay away from food for an hour or two before bed to avoid heartburn or indigestion when bedtime arrives. If you do need a snack, choose something small that’s low on processed sugar but has some carbohydrates.

Nap wisely

Napping can be a great way to catch up on sleep and take the edge off your exhaustion, but nap carefully. A 20-minute nap in the afternoon can be a great way to feel refreshed without affecting your regular sleep schedule, but avoid napping after dinner, which can make it very difficult to fall asleep when your bedtime arrives. Instead, keep yourself awake for the evening, and go to bed a little bit early if you need to.

Getting enough sleep on a regular basis has a positive effect on not only your alertness, but also your mood and your general health. For example, people who sleep more tend to have fewer weight problems and be less likely to suffer from depression.

Although you may go through seasons of your life with less sleep, like a busy time at work or the first few months after bringing a new baby home, these shouldn’t be the norm. Take steps to get control over your sleeping problems and step into a happier, healthier life.

About The Author: Holly is an Indianapolis writer who loves blogging on behalf of Sears and other great mattress brands she loves.

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