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Sleep Better Tonight

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January 4, 2012

Our technology-filled, multi-tasking lives can become very stressful. By the end of the day we are overwrought and sleepless. The less sleep we get, the higher our stress levels climb. Here are a few tips to help break the vicious cycle and sleep better with a sound, restful night.

  1. Strike a pose. Stress and sitting all day long can wreak havoc on muscles and leave us in knots. To ease the tension and clear your mind for bed, try some bedtime yoga positions like Child’s Pose, a nice Forward Bend, and end in Savasana. Try to clear your mind of thoughts and focus on your slow breathing.
  2. Have a drink. A hot drink, that is. A warm cup of tea, especially teas formulated for bedtime, can help to calm nerves and allow you to sleep better. Be sure to avoid caffeinated teas, however, as those will keep you awake.
  3. Chow down. The nutrients in certain foods, such as turkey, bananas and milk, help the body to produce greater levels of tryptophan, another natural sleep aid. And any sensible snack will help ward off waking to hunger pains in the middle of the night. Be sure to avoid spicy, greasy or sugary foods, though, as they can lead to acid reflux which will disrupt sleep.
  4. Unplug. The artificial light from computer screens, smart phones and televisions disrupts your natural sleep patterns and may prevent you from falling asleep. An hour or two before bedtime, power down the computer, turn off the tv and put away the phone. Dim the lights to signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep, and engage in a relaxing activity such as reading or listening to soothing music.
  5. Take a soak. Spending some time in a warm bath will also help to relax muscles and relieve stress. Adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, can further enhance relaxation and help you to sleep better.
  6. Make the bed. Studies have shown that people sleep more soundly in a bed that has been made than in an unkempt bed. Even better if the sheets have been freshly changed. So take a few minutes to pull up the covers in the morning – just wait until after your shower so sheets dampened with sweat have a chance to dry out.
  7. Chill Out.Keeping the room at a cooler temperature also aids sleep. Turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees and snuggle up under your favorite blanket to snooze better.

If you follow these tips, as well as getting plenty of daytime exercise and avoiding caffeine in the evening, you should be well on your way to a deep, restful night’s sleep.

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