5 Tips to Help You Sleep Like a Baby

June 9th, 2014

 

The National Sleep Foundation determined that 60% of Americans experience some degree of sleep problems almost every night. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic in the US. Clearly, this is an issue that needs a lot more attention.

 

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Not only does sleep make you, well, sleepy, but according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, lowered immunity and neurological problems – all of which drastically reduce quality of life. Plus, it affects our relationships, creativity, mood and productivity.

 

Since sleep is the body’s daily renewal system, you can work to ensure you get more quality ZZZ’s by incorporating just a few simple steps into your daily routine:

 

1.  Put your electronics to bed.

You should shut off your gadgets at least one hour before you go to sleep. It has been shown that the light from our devices prevents the body from realizing its natural circadian rhythm, thus disrupting our internal on/off switch.

 

2.  Exercise.

Being active is imperative to rid the body of excess stresses and strains that arise as a result of modern living. With exercise, your body will function more efficiently and release more endorphins during the day; this encourages your body to calm itself down at night. Plus, your muscles will need the rest!

 

3.  Eat well.

A proper, balanced diet is important so that your body is not reacting to sugar highs and lows. Alcohol consumption in the evenings has particularly adverse effects. The large amount of sugar in alcohol often creates a restless night’s sleep.

 

4.  Keep it dark.

Keep you bedroom dark during your sleeping hours. Just as evening use of electronics can affect your circadian rhythm, early light coming in the window can cause the body to wake earlier than necessary.

 

5.  Breathe deeply.

Deep breathing exercises or simple yoga postures can help the body to relax at the end of a stressful day. Making mindful choices to stop the cascade of stressful thoughts and feelings is imperative to give the body the chance to wind down and renew itself.

 

Sweet Dreams!

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