Tags: sleep | insomnia | exercise | diet

Strategies for Good Sleep

Friday, 01 August 2014 04:12 PM Current | Bio | Archive

If you’re having trouble sleeping through the night, you might want to talk with your doctor to find out if a medical condition or medication might be contributing to the problem. You also can try some of the following nonmedical approaches to improve the quality and duration of your sleep — which will definitely benefit your mind health.
Keep to a regular sleep schedule. The human body likes steady rhythms. Sometimes, sleep problems have to do with changing routines. This is especially true when we travel to different time zones. For instance, when you experience jet lag that’s simply your body telling you it’s time to sleep in the middle of the day. Try to get into bed the same time each night, and set your alarm for the same time each morning. This will put your body on an fixed schedule. It’s also a good idea not to sleep too late on the weekends and avoid napping during the day as well.
Get settled before bedtime. Some people like the ritual of snacking and watching television in bed before going to sleep. That’s fine for a part of the evening, but when it’s actually time to sleep, it’s a good idea to relax without TV. Instead, read a book — preferably not one that is too mentally stimulating — or listen to relaxing music. Whether you like to meditate, read, or just relax, pick a routine that helps you to get settled. Then turn off the light and go to sleep.
Leave stimulating activities for morning. Whether it’s a work task or challenging personal issue, avoid dealing with it just before bedtime. The psychological stress will make it difficult to relax.
Avoid caffeine and excess liquids. It’s not just coffee, but also many teas and even chocolate can keep you awake — especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. A few sips of water are fine, but too much liquid can stimulate your bladder and possibly awaken you in the middle of the night.
Relax in a bath. Some people find that a warm shower or bath just prior to bed relaxes muscles and clears the mind, making it easier to fall asleep.
Exercise during the day. Getting plenty of physical activity during the day is one of the best ways to facilitate a restful night.
Stay still. Some people find that even if they feel tired and ready for sleep, they can’t get settled once they turn out the light. One simple strategy is to try to keep your body still in a relaxed position and breathe slowly. This simple breathing exercise is enough to help many people fall asleep quickly.
Getting into the habit of a good night’s sleep is a key stress-management strategy that will bolster both brain and body health. Most of us know this instinctively, but it doesn’t always come easily.
Use these simple strategies to help get regular, quality sleep, and you will reap the benefits of more energy and a sharper mind.

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If you’re having trouble sleeping through the night, you might want to talk with your doctor to find out if a medical condition or medication might be contributing to the problem.
sleep, insomnia, exercise, diet
Friday, 01 August 2014 04:12 PM
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