Posted on August 18 2016

In our post "7 tips to FEEL GOOD" we discuss the importance of getting enough sleep. However, I'm sure we are not alone in sometimes needing caffine to get us going in the morning. So, we thought we would explore some ideas on how to get a better nights sleep courtesy of Wellness Magazine

When you wake up in the morning, are you refreshed and ready to go, or groggy and grumpy? For many people, the second scenario is all too common.

You don’t necessarily have to have a sleep disorder to be experiencing problems getting a good night's rest. Many things can interfere with restorative sleep - crazy work schedules, anxiety, and trouble putting down the computer or smartphone, even what you eat and drink.

Read the following list of habits to make for good “sleep hygiene”, as the experts call it. Then, look for a few you can adopt to prevent future sleep problems. The closer you come to “perfect” sleep hygiene, the better you’ll sleep every night.

•    Make sleep a priority
•    Create and stick to a regular sleep schedule and routine. Go to bad at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning.
•    Establish a shooting, relaxing routine to help you wind down before going to bad.
•    Exercise regularly. You can improve the amount and quality of your sleep by getting regular physical.
•    Avoid the temptation to work, eat, or watch TV in bed.
•    Try replacing your afternoon coffee brake with a 20-minute nap.
•    Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking at least 3 hours before bed. According a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School - the following three simple steps can help you 
sleep better.

1. Cut down on caffeine

Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep than people who don't drink caffeine. Once they drift off, their sleep is shorter and lighter. For some, a single cup of coffee in the morning means a sleepless night. That may be because caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night.

People who suffer from insomnia should avoid caffeine as much as possible, since its effects can endure for many hours. Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than go cold turkey. Those who can't or don't want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine-sensitive.

2. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco

Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia. This potent drug makes it harder to fall asleep because it speeds your heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates fast brain wave activity that indicates wakefulness. In people addicted to nicotine, a few hours without it is enough to induce withdrawal symptoms; the craving can even wake a smoker at night. People who kick the habit fall asleep more quickly and wake less often during the night. Sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue may occur during the initial withdrawal from nicotine, but even during this period, many former users report improvements in sleep. If you continue to use tobacco, avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours before bedtime.

3. Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem to help some people fall asleep. However, alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects disappear after a few hours. Drinkers have frequent awakenings and sometimes frightening dreams. Alcohol may be responsible for up to 10% of chronic insomnia cases. Also, alcohol can worsen snoring and other sleep breathing problems, sometimes to a dangerous extent. Even one drink can make a sleep-deprived person drowsy. In an automobile, the combination significantly increases a person's chance of having an accident.

If you adopt these healthy habits and still have trouble sleeping, make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your doctor.



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