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Sleeping Better - 10 Tips

A hectic lifestyle, complete with work and family commitments, can leave you a bit frazzled at the end of the day. Here are ten tips to help you feel rested and revived after a great night’s sleep.

1. Exercise daily. Studies have shown that long-term exercise regimens, even if low impact and low intensity, can help to relieve stress, and contribute to better sleeping patterns in the long run.

Caffeine, which can stay in your system for up to 5 hours, increases the number of times you awaken at night and decreases total amount of sleep time

2. Cut caffeine completely, or if you can’t, don’t have any after 3pm. It may be impossible to survive without that morning coffee, but considering that caffeine stays in your system for up to 5 hours, try to confine your caffeine intake to the morning hours.

Eat healthy foods at regular times

3. Eat healthy foods at regular times. Larger meals early in the day will help provide you with the energy you need to get through the day, and smaller dinners will help you by giving your body less work to do at night, less energy when you should be winding down, and more impetus to have breakfast the next morning, as your body will actually crave the energy then.

4. Embrace the light! In other words, try to get up when it’s light, and go to bed when it’s dark. It’s not that simple, obviously, as life makes other plans for you, but making light work for you will help. Get as much light as you can first thing in the morning by opening the curtains as soon as you get up, and start toning the artificial lights down a couple of hours before bed.

5. Only use your bed for bedtime activities. There are only two that are acceptable. Sleep, and the other one… you know what I’m talking about. Don’t watch T.V., read, or eat in bed. These things only encourage your body to think of bed as a place to be awake.

6. Find a scent that relaxes you and introduce that smell into your bedroom at bedtime. You can do this by using hand or face creams or balms, candles, or essential oils. Make sure that you use this relaxing scent only at bedtime, and your body will learn to associate it with your sleep cycle.

7. Embrace technologies that can help you to wind down. There are some fantastic technologies available that are specifically created to assist in your relaxation. There are programs that change the lighting on your computer or phone to match your surroundings, for instance, or white noise/natural noise programs that can lull you into a relaxed state.

8. Drink hot water with honey and lemon, or a herbal tisane, before bed. Make sure it doesn’t contain caffeine. Try valerian or camomile blends, as these herbs have been known to actively help with relaxation. Warm milk is also good for helping you to relax, and it’s delicious too!

9. Outlaw the snooze button! If you are a serial snoozer, this could be seriously impacting on your quality of rest. Essentially, you are waking yourself to a point of restlessness, and staying there for a prolonged period. If you need an alarm to wake you, train yourself to get up as soon as the alarm goes off. It will help your body establish a routine, and will help your brain wake up more quickly.

10. Establish a sleeping routine. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. This can be painful, especially if you love sleeping in on the weekends, but in the long run, it will help to establish a much more stable sleep cycle that your body will learn to rely on.

Try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends.

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