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Seven Tips for Better Sleep

I have recently discovered, as a wife and mother in my late 30’s, that sleep has become more important than ever in my busy life.  I have experienced that even just a couple of nights consisting of less than 8 hours of sleep really affects how the following day plays out.  I have noticed aches and pains that only present themselves when I have not slept enough. This inspired me to do a little research on how to improve my sleep habits and thought I would share them with all of you.

1)      Blue Light is the Enemy – I used to have an alarm clock that had blue numbers that glowed annoyingly throughout the room.  Research has shown that the short waves of this blue light disrupt sleep.  This blue light is also produced by TV screens, smartphones and computers.  Unplug an hour before bed for best results.

2)      Set a schedule and stick to it! – If you make sure to go to bed and get up at the same times every day (yes, even on weekends) you will find your body is ready for sleep and waking after some practice and it is easier to do both!

3)      Caffeine – Caffeine is not a bad thing in and of itself, but using it wisely makes all the difference.  Having that cup in the morning is always enjoyable and gets you going.  It’s the cup at 4 o’clock in the afternoon that is causing your sleep to suffer.

4)      Exercise – In all aspects of human life, exercise is known as a positive thing.  Create an exercise routine for every day and remember not to do it too close to bed time.  The burst of energy will slow the sleep process.  Yoga and tai chi are great forms of relaxation before bedtime.

5)      Drinking water at night – (this is one I struggle with) It is best not to drink any fluids within 2 hours of bedtime.  This will prevent the middle of the night wake up call from the bathroom!

6)      Dim the lights – Bright light is your body’s indicator that it is to be awake.  If you dime the lights in the house within the hour before bed time, your body naturally responds by relaxing.

7)      Keep pets off the bed – As much as we love them, they should sleep in their own bed.  Their movements can keep us awake, as well as the dander they bring upsetting allergies.  I can relate to this as my chihuahua seems to become the size of a Labrador when it is time to snuggle in.

What it all comes down to is a good night’s sleep is going to improve many aspects of your waking life, physical, emotional and psychological. Developing the right habits to promote good sleep will make life easier.

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