5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Sleep

Are you one of over 75% of women who have trouble staying asleep at night. Do you toss and turn at night? Sleep deprivation is one of the most debilitating issues we face. Don’t allow lack of sleep to rob you of your natural high energy, great mood, and a smile on our face.

How much sleep do you really need?
Everyone requires quality sleep for optimal health and well-being, though how many hours vary depending on the individual and their age group. Try experimenting with your sleep patterns to find out what works best for you and your individual needs.

Unfortunately most of us fail to get enough sleep eye even though we have followed the advice of our doctor.  By now you’ve probably tried turning off electronics and sleeping in a darkened room. There are so many people using over the counter sleep aides to try to get a good night’s sleep. “Sleeping Pills” are not the answer; they do not provide us with the good, natural deep sleep our bodies need.

Sleep has a huge effect on your daytime, awake life. No one want’s to walk around groggy, grumpy and packing on the pounds because of a lack of sleep. Below are a few tips that will hopefully help you to fall into a good night’s sleep.

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Keep a Schedule
Our body loves routine and rhythm. Log your activities to assist you in paying attention what may be adding to your night time sleep interruption.

Limit Naps
While power naps between 10 and 30 minutes can rejuvenate a tired mind, daytime naps longer than 30 minutes can make it harder to fall asleep when bedtime arrives.

Making dietary changes 
A healthy diet is beneficial to a good night’s sleep. Are you eating or drinking before bed time?
When you watch what you eat you will pay attention to how your body responds to food or the lack thereof.  Going to bed on an empty stomach may cause you to wake up hungry in the middle of the night. On the other hand, going to bed with too much food in your belly might also affect your sleep cycle.
Eating a healthy diet will allow you to gain more energy, improved weight loss, sleep better, have a better mood and other general overall health improvements.


Avoid Excess Caffeine and/or Alcohol Before Bed
Even though alcohol is known as a depressant, it is loaded with stimulating sugars which may effect your sleep pattern.
Drinking that afternoon cup of coffee may also be the culprit in your lack of sleep. Pay attention to how long the caffeine stimulation affects your body. By bed time you may still be going full throttle waiting for it to wear off.

Get Some Exercise
Getting plenty of physical activity throughout the day can prepare you for a good night’s sleep. However, be cautious about working out within an hour or two before bedtime, as the extra pep you receive from an intense workout might keep you up at night. If that is the case, go for a leisure evening stroll and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea.

There are many complex factors involved in the relationship between sleep and health. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are widely documented.

YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO GAIN WEIGHT:
Leptin, your satiety hormone, is significantly reduced when you are sleep deprived. Since leptin plays an important role in appetite control and metabolism, having low levels of this hormone results in hunger not being naturally suppressed. Therefore, your appetite and cravings increase.

YOU ARE AT A HIGHER RISK FOR ILLNESS:
Without a good night’s sleep, your body is more susceptible to stress. The immune system does not function optimally, and inflammatory proteins and blood sugar levels rise in response to lower levels of insulin being released throughout the night. All of these negative effects on the body contribute to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and infection.

YOUR RISK OF INJURY INCREASES:
When you are exhausted, both physically and mentally, there is an increased risk of injury, errors, and accidents. This tired state of mind may lead to mishaps like stubbing your toe, cutting yourself in the kitchen, or getting into a car accident.
YOUR BRAIN DOES NOT FUNCTION OPTIMALLY: There are measurable changes in brain activity that occur after a period of sleep deprivation. When you do not get a sufficient amount of sleep your mental performance suffers, impairing your ability to process new information and memories and impacting your overall mood, focus, and high-level cognitive function.

YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO STRUGGLE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS:
Without sufficient rest, you may have trouble keeping your emotions in check. Increased feelings of irritability, anxiety, sadness, and anger are common. You may even find that you are more vulnerable to laughing or crying regardless of what you are experiencing.

Try some of these suggestions and let me know if you have improved your sleep habits.

sources: Consequences of Insufficient Sleep http://geti.in/1ilGyVh
Sleep Deprivation Effects on Health and Well-Being http://geti.in/1s3Ehrr
Sleep, Performance, and Public Safety http://geti.in/1qpMIbV
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? http://geti.in/1ph6pFt

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