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7 Tips For Better Sleep

7 Tips For Better Sleep
Suffering from inadequate sleep? If you do, you have plenty of company: 48% of Americans report that they don’t get enough sleep, yet less than half of them do anything about it. If this sounds like you, it’s time to take action today! Sleep is absolutely essential for humans. It helps our body recharge, release hormones, and repair cells to overcome injury or build muscle. Attaining satisfactory sleep isn’t as difficult as it may seem – check out these 7 tips for a better night’s rest.

1. Exercise regularly.

Exercise is one of the best ways to ensure a restful night of sleep. Even 30 minutes of physical activity a day can provide positive benefits. The one caveat here is that you don’t want to do any vigorous exercise right before bedtime. Exercise provides energy, which could cause you to get wound up and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try to schedule workouts for the morning or early afternoon. If the only time you are able to exercise is late at night, yoga or gentle stretching exercises will get your body moving without jeopardizing your ability to sleep.

2. Stay away from sleep aids that make you drowsy.

When plagued by insomnia, many people rush out to the pharmacy to pick up some sleeping pills off the shelf. Although it’s understandable that they are looking for relief, the unfortunate reality is that many people feel drowsy the next day after taking chemical-laden sleep aids. So while they may be able to sleep through the night, they spend the next day feeling tired and disconnected. Try some natural or herbal sleep aids first; these can be just as effective for troubled sleepers and don’t have side effects that make you sluggish. If you suffer from chronic, debilitating insomnia, it’s best to speak to a physician.

If you’re looking for an all-natural supplement, try out Nutronics Labs’ Sleep Miracle made with melatonin and valerian root, ingredients that are commonly used to promote sleep without drowsy after effects.

3. Power down electronics.

If you fall asleep to the glow of a TV, phone, or computer, you’re not alone. This isn’t an uncommon habit, but it is a prevalent cause of inadequate sleep. The light emitted from these screens stimulates your brain and can suppress your body’s production of melatonin. Try to wrap up your screen time at least an hour before bed to give your brain time to slow down.

4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before sleep

Many people may believe that a glass of wine or a nightcap helps them sleep. Although a drink may help you fall asleep initially, it actually interferes with the quality of that sleep. It causes people to wake up more in the middle of the night, so it’s best to avoid alcohol several hours before bedtime.

Likewise, most people know that caffeine will keep them up. For some people, caffeine can cause sleep issues ten to twelve hours after drinking it, so if you’re extra sensitive to caffeine, try cutting back altogether. A few cups of coffee in the morning won’t hurt you, but it’s wise to curb caffeine after lunch.

5. Keep a routine.

Even if you prefer spontaneity and variation in your daily life, our bodies thrive on routine. Consistent routines help train your body to stick to a schedule and respond how we want them to when we need them. For instance, going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day cues your body to stick to this schedule. Your body will get used to the routine, making it easier for you to fall asleep at night and naturally wake up on time. Furthermore, ending the day with a relaxing bedtime routine sends a signal to your body that it’s time for sleep.

6. Quit smoking

Nicotine is a stimulant that can have a negative impact on a person’s ability to fall asleep and achieve a quality night of rest. Research from the American College of Chest Physicians medical journal showed that smokers were four times more likely to feel unrested after a night of sleep than their nonsmoking counterparts. Furthermore, because of overnight nicotine withdrawal, smokers spent less time in deep sleep each night, which contributed to their unrested feelings upon waking.

7. Tackle stress.

It probably comes as no surprise that stress and anxiety can be huge barriers to good sleep. It’s hard to get the rest you need when you’re laying in bed with racing thoughts or worries about everything that needs to get done. If you suspect that your poor sleep is a consequence of stress, don’t settle for band-aid solutions: go straight to the source. Work on reducing your stress throughout the day but especially at nighttime. Some people find that journaling, breathing exercises, light physical activity, or taking a bath/shower helps them calm down and clear their mind.

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