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7 Tips For Sleeping Better

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If you’ve ever had a restless night, rife with more tossing and turning than you’d care to remember, you know how frustrating sleep troubles can be. Even if only for a night, sleeplessness is no fun, and should be avoided at all costs. Aside from the irritation factor, a lack of sleep can also cause serious health problems, including, according to WebMD: “obesity, heart disease, diabetes, headaches, depression, attention problems” and more.  If you’re someone who struggles to sleep soundly, it’s time to improve your sleep hygiene so you can get a good night’s rest on the regular. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Eliminate Stimulants (at least at night)
If you have serious trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you might want to reconsider that morning cup of joe. Sure, it doesn’t seem like what you do during your morning ritual could greatly affect your rest at night, but if your sleep schedule is wreaking havoc on your life, it might be worth looking into. Don’t want to cut the caffeine altogether? Consider simply giving yourself a cutoff time, after which you won’t consume it any longer. According to an article in Psychology Today, a current study shows that “late-afternoon caffeine can cause problems for your sleep, even if you aren’t aware of it. To avoid sleep disruption, restrict your caffeine consumption primarily to the morning hours. If you do have a midday cup of coffee, make sure to drink it before 2 p.m.”

Stay Consistent
Try to head to bed and wake up around the same time each day. This will help your body get into a rhythm of sleep, which in turn will make falling asleep and rising easier each day. According to Stanford, “Keeping regular hours will not only train your body to be more alert when you wake up, but will also help you to manage your time better.”

Start a Pre-Sleep Routine
If you aim to transition from your busy day straight into sleep, you’re setting yourself up for a challenge. Instead, try giving yourself at least half an hour before bed to do something relaxing, such as reading, writing or listening to music. Giving your body and your mind the time to slow down is an integral part of getting a good night’s sleep. If you don’t have a pre-sleep routine just yet, spend a week experimenting with different pre-sleep rituals, and then pick your favorite one and stick with it.

Getting a good workout in each and every day is one of the best activities you can add to your agenda in order to get a better rest each night. There are many studies that show the link between exercise and improved sleep, but the simplest explanation is this, via Discovery: “When it comes to having a direct effect on getting a good night’s sleep, it’s vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening that appears most beneficial. That’s because it raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you’re getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature appears to be a trigger that helps ease you into sleep.”

Dim the Lights at Night
Something as simple (and easy) as dimming the lights in your home at night could help you get a better rest than ever before. Giving your body signals that it’s time to wind down can help you to relax and even fall asleep easier, so give this trick a try and see what happens for you.

Don’t Fill Up Right Before Bed
One of the easiest culprits of poor sleep hygiene you can fix tonight is this: don’t eat a huge meal right before bed. Instead, eat lightly several hours before bed in order to allow your body ample time to digest before rest.

Keep Your Bedroom a Computer-Free Zone
According to an article published by the Telegraph, “American researchers have discovered that human brains and sleep patterns are confused by devices that emit bright lights. Consumer electronics, such as laptops, deceive our minds that it is still daytime, preventing sleep and increasing the risk of insomnia.” If you’re someone who likes to surf the internet before bed, consider changing this habit to an earlier time in the day. The easiest way to change this habit is to implement a new rule that your laptop doesn’t get opened before bed; banish it to the kitchen or the office and rest assured that you’ll get a better night’s sleep for it.

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