Wednesday, 13 November 2013

16 Tips for Better Sleep

Sleep is absolutely critical to our physical health, weightloss efforts, mental health, and overall wellbeing (here's why). Use these 16 tips from the Nov-Dec 2013 issue of Fitness Journal to help create better sleep habits. 

  • Limit caffein, particularly in the afternoon and evening. 
  • Limit alcohol. Especially avoid excessive consumption before bed.
  • Try to quite tobacco use; nicotine is a stimulant.
  • Don't use your computer, cell phone or handheld device in the 90 minutes before bedtime. LED lighting "tells" the brain to stay awake. 
  • Limit television viewing before bed. 
  • Lower the temperature in the house or bedroom before and during sleep. The body likes cooler temperatures. Many sleep doctors suggest lowering body temperature 90 minutes before bedtime. 
  • Take a hot bath 90-120 minutes before bed. 
  • Use the bed only for sleeping, lovemaking, and perhaps reading before sleep. 
  • Nap only 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon, if necessary.
  • Keep a sleep diary to track patterns.
  • Eat 3-4 hours before bed and avoid heavy meals during that time. 
  • If possible, protect sleep from intrusions (unexpected noise); consider wearing earplugs. 
  • If you don't fall asleep within 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something else until your body and mind feel tired. 
  • Meditate, listen to soothing music, or create other nighttime rituals that signal it's time to sleep.
  • Use blackout curtains to block light.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow. 

For more tips, check out 5 Things You Need To Do Everyday.

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