Want a Good Night's Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed

As most of us are aware, sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health. Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on our health.

Interrupted or impaired sleep can weaken the immune system, cause hunger even when you have just eaten, affect memory, impair physical and mental performance, and interfere with growth hormone production.

Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Constipation
  • Mood disorders like depression

Poor sleep can make life miserable! The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health.”

Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from the tips and tricks below. - Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Consider wearing an eye mask to block out light.

  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F

  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake.

  • Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

  • Consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

  • Don't change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

  • Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

  • Don't drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

  • Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

  • Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

  • Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks reduces night wakings. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

  • Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow's deadlines.

  • No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

  • Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep.

  • Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don't read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

  • Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely effect sleep.

  • Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night.

  • Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

These tips brought to you by Dr. Joseph Mercola. www.mercola.com

Tagged: chiropractic, nerve, wellness, healthy, bedtime, health, bed, sleep, night, exercise, spine

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