Get Better Sleep, Part 1

Everyone wants a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep. There are few things in the world that bring the joy of waking up knowing the last night’s sleep has prepared you to conquer the day. Good sleep is essential for your body to repair itself, rejuvenate, and it’s a huge component of stress management! It can be a vicious cycle—stress causes you to lose sleep, and lack of sleep exacerbates stress! By taking some easy steps to get your sleep on track, you can put this cycle in its place.  This is part one of a two-part series…

Here are my eight tips on how to get a better night’s sleep!

1. Get in a Routine: Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day. Your body’s clock will get in the routine of knowing when is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up, making it much easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.

2. Get off the Couch: By regularly exercising, your body will benefit more from the sleep you get each night. Exercise will also increase time spent in deep REM sleep, which is the most important part of the sleep cycle. It doesn’t matter if you go to the gym and “kill it,” or go for a brisk walk. Do what you enjoy, just get moving.

3. Clean Up Your Diet: By avoiding alcohol (no, that drink at night does not help you sleep better, but can do the opposite!), caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bed, your body will thank you with a more restful sleep. It will help you fall asleep faster and have a more regular sleep cycle.

4. Meditate Before Bed: By clearing your head of the distractions of everyday life, your body will be more at ease when you go to sleep. Take a moment to yourself and focus on nothing. It will relax you and prepare you for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.

5. Sleep in the Right Environment: Make your bedroom your sanctuary. Somewhere that promotes relaxation. That means eliminating anything that makes unnecessary sounds, having a bed that fits your needs, whether it be firm or soft, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, cool rather than warm. I love my blackout curtains!

6. Avoid Long Naps: Extended naps during the day can seriously mess with your sleep schedule. Cap your nap at 15-20 minutes. Those short power naps will energize you without causing you to still feel awake at bedtime. Also, ask why are you needing a nap? Could be an issue with #3. See, they all go together!

7. Kick Out the Pets: When you let your bed sleep in your bed, you invite all kinds of obstacles to a good nights sleep. You could react to pet allergies or have to deal with their movement throughout the night.

8. Late Night Drinks: Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or tea specific to sleep. I love Tulsi Sleep, by Organic India. These contribute to either the production of or releasing of serotonin or melatonin, both crucial factors when falling asleep and staying asleep.

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