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Sure-Fire Ways to Get a Great Night’s Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? Half of all adults aren’t. Yet adequate rest is as vital to health and peak performance as exercise and good nutrition. And it can be so e-zzz:

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day- even on weekends. Why: You’ll help regulate your body’s internal clock to get the 7-8  hours  sleep most adults require. Important: Avoid naps, which affect your ability to fall asleep at night.

Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Try: a warm bath, light reading or pleasant music. Fact: Listening to classical or New Age music at bedtime has been shown to help insomnia sufferers fall asleep. Possible reason: The music matches the body rhythms and slows the heart rate.

Skip stimulants like caffeine and nicotine from late afternoon on. And don’t use alcohol to induce sleep. As its effects wear off, your brain actually grows more alert. Don’t rely on sleeping pills. They can disrupt your sleep/wake cycle if you depend on them too much.

Squeeze in daytime fitness.In one recent study, regular exercisers not only slept almost an hour longer than non-exercisers: they also fell asleep in half the time.

Breathe easier.People who suffer from sleep apnea – when breathing stops periodically – may actually awaken dozens of times during sleep and not know it. Helpful: Lie on your side, not your back…lose any excess weight…stop smoking if you do…talk to a doctor if problems continue.

Get help if sleep has been disturbed often during the past month, or if sleep problems interfere with your ability to function during the day.

Follow the Above and Sleep Like a Baby

 

Article extracted from “TOP HEALTH, The Health Promotion and Wellness Newsletter”, May 2004.