Sleep experts tell us that most adults need about 8 hours nightly of sleep. The body repairs itself while sleeping, and it's essential for a good mood, sound judgment, focus, and safety. Getting enough sleep also means that our skin looks healthier, we have better energy, reaction time, agility and coordination. We know that too little sleep can cause depression, memory problems, weakened immunity, weight gain, and an increase in the perception of pain.
With our busy, overstimulated lives, it's all too common to shorten our hours of rest or toss and turn all night. Try these tips to get the rest that your body and mind crave:
- Limit caffeine to early in the day. A healthy, afternoon snack can give a needed burst of energy without the insomnia.
- Exercise regularly. This will improve your sleep and life in general.
- Swap your lunch for dinner. Eating a light meal at night helps your body prioritize for sleep vs. digesting a difficult meal.
- Have a consistent bedtime routine. A cup of chamomile tea, warm bath, or a good book go a long way to ease you to sleep.
- Purge your brain. Keep a pen and paper next to your bed to "pour" the buzzing thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Stashing these "open loops" for safekeeping will soon make way for the "zzz's".
- Turn off the computer. Computer usage before bedtime may keep you awake counting sheep. A decrease in Melatonin (which is necessary for healthy sleep cycles) has been linked with the artificial light of our computer screensAdd a couple of these healthy sleep tricks for restful nights and happier days. If you still don't feel rested after consistently getting a good night's sleep, check in with your doctor. Sweet dreams!