Sleep is a beautiful thing. If you feel you’re not getting enough sleep, or not enjoying quality sleep, these simple adjustments can help contribute to a more restful night.
1. Develop a Sleep Routine
It might seem tempting, but sleeping until noon on Saturday will only disrupt your biological clock and cause more sleep problems.
Stick to your sleep routine throughout the week.
Researchers in Northwestern University’s Department of Neurobiology and Physiology reported that previously sedentary adults who got aerobic exercise four times a week improved their sleep quality from poor to good.
3. Change Your Diet
Eat magnesium rich foods throughout the day.
Cut out the food and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate, by mid-afternoon.
Make dinner your lightest meal, and finish it a few hours before bedtime.
4. Don’t Smoke
A study found that smokers are four times more likely to not feel as well rested after a full night’s sleep than nonsmokers. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine attribute this to the stimulative effect of nicotine and the nighttime withdrawal from it.
5. Become a Luddite an Hour Before Bedtime
A National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey found that nearly all participants used some type of electronics, like a television, computer, video game, or cell phone, within the last hour before going to bed. That’s a bad idea. Light from these devices stimulates the brain, making it harder to wind down.
6. Hog the Bed
A study performed by Mayo Clinic’s Dr. John Shepard found that 53 percent of pet owners who sleep with their pets experience sleep disruption every night. And more than 80 percent of adults who sleep with children have trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
7. Keep it Temperate, not Tropical
The NSF recommends a temperature somewhere around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Striking a balance between the thermostat, the bed covers, and your sleeping attire will reduce your core body temperature and help you drift off to sleep faster and more deeply.
8. Black it Out
Light tells your brain that it’s time to wake up, so make your room as dark as possible for sleep. Even a small amount of ambient light from your cell phone or computer can disrupt the production of melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles) and overall sleep.
9. Scent it Up
Use essential oils sprays and candles to support relaxation. Rosemary, jasmine, lavender and vanilla help calm the nerves.
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