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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