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10 Tips To Get A Good Night Sleep

Are you spending your night tossing and turning? Are experiencing difficulties falling and/or staying asleep? Do you notice your stress and worries are keeping you up with your thoughts? Are you feeling stressed about the lack of sleep you’re getting? Not getting enough sleep can harm both your physical and mental health. It places an individual at risk for anxiety or depression, irritability, difficulties concentrating, reduction in productivity, and difficulties thinking clearly and effectively. It can also weaken an individual’s immune system, cause difficulties with processing memories, weight issues, increase an individual’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Getting enough sleep nightly is essential to our body just as eating healthy and exercise is. Sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours a night allows the body the recharge so it can regulate one’s emotions better, allow an individual to be productive, think clearly, and fight off diseases. Not getting enough sleep prevents your brain and body from functioning properly. Below are sleep hygiene techniques to improve your sleep.

1. Only laying in bed if it is to sleep. Training your body to associate sleep with being in your bed will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. In order to do this it is important to avoid laying in your bed to do other activities such as watching TV, reading, eating and more. This will train your brain to associate sleeping with your bed and make it easier to fall asleep.

2. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Setting aside at least 7 hours to sleep a night by going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday will set your sleep-wake cycle and improve your quality of sleep. Try to limit changes to your sleep-wake cycle on the weekends as it can disrupt your quality of sleep during the week.

3. Relaxing before bed. It can be helpful to engage in deep breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, and more before bed as it will help your body relax and get ready for sleep. Some other forms of relaxation are taking a bath, reading, drinking some herbal tea, and anything you find soothing. Allowing your body to relax from the days stressors will help you get in bed without feeling on edge and improve your quality of sleep.

4. Avoid screens before bed. Melatonin is a natural hormone in the brain that is released more at night making you sleepy, and released less during the day keeping you alert and awake. Using screens before bed causes your brain to release less melatonin making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

5. Limit caffeine after a certain time of day. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, and some sodas. It stimulates our bodies which negatively affects our quality of sleep. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages after 3pm to improve your quality of sleep.

6. Create a bed-time ritual. A bed-time ritual will allow you to spend some time before preparing yourself to fall asleep. It can be creating a calming-environment to sleep. In other words, draw the shades, turn on the fan, lower the temperature of the room. Whatever you need to create a comfortable place to sleep. A bed-time ritual can also include a skin-care routine, some meditation, yoga, reading, drinking tea, and more.

7. Avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it can negatively affect your quality of sleep later in the night. Try to avoid alcohol a few hours before bed to ensure quality sleep.

8. Can’t sleep after 20-30 minutes, don’t stress about it, instead get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Stressing about not falling asleep will only make it harder to fall asleep. Try moving to another room, read a book, engage in meditation, do a puzzle, drink some non-caffeinated or herbal tea, or do anything relaxing that avoids screens until you start to get sleepy. Remaining calm, and relaxed will allow your body to get tired and fall asleep easier when it’s ready.

9. Napping Properly. Despite how much you slept the night before or how tired you are, it’s important to limit your naps to 20-30 minutes. Longer naps make it harder to fall asleep at night and mess with our sleep-wake cycle.

10. Exercise Regularly. Physical activity has been linked to better sleep. Try to find 20-30 minutes a day engaging in physical activity, such as taking a walk outside, lifting weights, doing yoga, and more.