Health

Tips for a Restful Night

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Sound sleep is the foundation of good health. Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep every night to recharge their batteries.

Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping the body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help the body cope with sleep deprivation and give it an opportunity to boost the immune system, get stronger and heal.

By implementing just a few of these suggestions, you should notice a great improvement in your sleep and how you function during daylight hours.

Ambiance Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool, and quiet. Angle the clock face away from the bed. If you get up to use the bathroom during the night, don’t turn on the light; use a nightlight to safely guide you. The optimal temperature for sleep is 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Hungry Avoid heavy meals and sugary or high grain snacks before bed. They will raise your blood sugar and make it difficult to fall asleep. Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use.

If you are hungry, eat a high protein snack a couple of hours before going to bed. Try yogurt, a banana or half of a turkey sandwich.

Reduce Late Night Activity Stop working at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. Let your mind relax. Limit television and computer use in the evening.

If you want to read in bed, avoid backlit devices as the light stimulates the brain. Read a book or use a device that requires you to use a separate, soft light source.

Bedtime Routine Establish a relaxing routine as you prepare for bed. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, even on weekends.

Relax by taking a hot shower, practicing mediation, or try progressive muscle relaxation, starting at your toes and working up to the top of the head.

It is important to leave the day’s worries behind. Do not over-think your day while you lie in bed. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and drift into a state of restful sleep.

Photo Credit: LiHeart.org, (Source: www.moveyourqi.com)

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Anna Dolopo

I’m a licensed acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist.

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