Top 5 Tips for Better Sleep

June 24th, 2015 | Self Improvement

Sleep is an important part of our biology. The average person spends ⅓ of their lifetime sleeping. A healthy amount of sleep gives the body the ability to recover from physical stresses of the day. On the other hand, lack of sleep has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

The ability to fall asleep may come naturally to some, but for others, keeping a healthy sleep cycle may be difficult. If you find yourself unable to sleep at night, it may be do to stresses in your life, poor health, or bad habits. Read these tips to discover ways to achieve a better night’s sleep.

#1 Make a Sleep Sanctuary

  • Don’t use the bedroom or your bed for anything other than sleeping. Using the bed as a place to do other activities will make it harder for your brain to relax when your head hits the pillow at night.
  • Make sure your pillows and bedding are comfortable. If lumpy pillows, or an old, creaky bed are to blame for your restless nights, a few updates are well worth the investment.

#2 Leave Your Bed

  • If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of retiring to bed, leave the bed and head to another part of the house. Allow time to feel groggy again. Then, return to the bedroom for a second attempt.

#3 Regulate Light Exposure

  • During the day, try to get as much natural sunlight as possible. Keep curtains and blinds open.
  • As evening approaches, limit exposure to devices with screens, this will help boost the body’s natural ability to produce melatonin.
  • Two hours before bed, turn off the TV, computer, and any backit devices. If you normally read from an iPad, it may be beneficial to switch to a non-backlit eReader.
  • Keep your room as dark as possible and remove any distracting lights that may disturb your sleep at night.

#4 Exercise Regularly

  • Even small amounts of exercise will help you sleep better at night. Twenty to thirty minutes a day is all you need, and it doesn’t need to be done all in one shot.
  • Try taking a 10 minute brisk walk at lunch, and 10 minutes of gentle stretches at night.

#5 Make Mindful Meals

  • Eat your last meal a few hours before bedtime.
  • Prepare something light and clean. Heavy, rich foods that are high in fat are hard for the body to processes and may make it harder for you to sleep.
  • Avoid spicy or acidic foods that may cause indigestion or heartburn.
  • Foods that promote healthy sleep are: chickpeas, jasmine rice, whole-grains, and turkey.

A better night’s sleep will lead to improved memory, more productivity, and countless health benefits. Start following these tips today and you will be on your way to catching some serious Z’s tonight.

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