how to improve your sleep

How to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to our overall health. When we sleep our bodies are hard at work repairing our muscles, consolidating our memories and releasing the hormones that regulate our growth and metabolism. The general recommendation for adults is 7-9 hours per night, although the exact needs will vary from individual to individual.

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
John Steinbeck

Here are 8 tips to improve your sleep:

  1. Exercise vigorously at least 3 times per week & stretch afterward to release tension from your muscles.
  2. No caffeine after 3pm. This works or me on most days going to bed around 11pm, but some people need as much as 12hr for the caffeine to get our of their system.
  3. Eating a light dinner without starch. This is the most important habit for me to follow. On the rare occasion I do eat a heavy or late dinner, I barely sleep & am miserable the next day. Protein (meat) and vegetables for dinner- no dessert, it is really that simple.
  4. No TV, computer or work items in the bedroom. This helps to condition your brain to know that the bedroom is for sleep, not work or entertainment.
  5. Thermostat set at 68 degrees.  I originally heard this on a Dr. Oz Show, but it helps! This apparently is the perfect temperature for sleep.
  6. Taking an Epsom Salt bath. Magensium is our relaxation mineral and can help soothe achy muscles. Soaking in a 10-15 minute bath before bedtime can help you prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Go here for more information.
  7. Using a sleep mask & ear plugs if needed to control the environment. Melatonin is the hormone that tells our body to go to sleep. Any light (even the small light on the alarm clock) will block the production of melatonin. If you are unable to get complete darkness in your bedroom, wear a sleep mask. I started this about 2 years ago and now I use the mask every night. I only have to use the ear plugs occasionally if it’s noisy in the apartment complex. 🙂
  8. Use essential oils to ease your stress. While I am not educated on essential oils, I have recognized the impact smells can have on our mood. The one I use is called Chill Pill. It has Orange and Lavender oils, both of which are recognized for their relaxing effects on our mind.

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