October 9, 2012

How to get a better night’s sleep

Getting a great night’s sleep can make the whole day sail by more smoothly, but that isn’t the case for most people. According to Prevention magazine, 60 percent of Americans experience sleep problems every single night.

But there are ways to get a better night’s sleep — things can be done throughout the day, gearing up for a blissful night of rest.

Prevention magazine offers advice for what to do during your waking hours to get your best night’s sleep. Here are helpful sleep tips for you tonight.

Stop enjoying your coffee if it’s midday. Coffee in the AM is OK, but by noon, it may cause you sleep problems later.  This is because even after seven hours of drinking it, much of the caffeine stimulant will be gone from your system, depending on your sensitivity to it — BUT 25 percent of it could still be coursing through your body.

Get your meditation on. While there’s no direct link between meditation and better sleep, what scientists have discovered about the act is that meditation sends signals to your sympathetic nervous system's “fight or flight” response telling it that it’s all right to relax. It can help you put aside the stresses of the day to drift off faster.

Set an exercise routine. Research supports that exercise improves sleep. Also, a recent study found that insomniacs who picked up a regular exercise routine slept better, felt less depressed and had more energy all day.

Put down (on shut off) the smart phone, iPad, laptop and any other device.  While these devices keep you connected throughout the day, they will hinder you getting ZZZs. The blue wavelengths produced by your phone and other gadgets significantly suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy.

Strike some nighttime laid-back yoga poses. Low-key yoga moves can send a signal to your brain that it’s time to slow down. Moves like a gentle forward bend, corpse pose, and happy baby pose work well.

Click here for more sleep tips from Prevention.

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