10 Tips for Better Sleep
In our fast paced world of 21st Century Living, better sleep is often at the top of people's wish list. The global marketplace has create both need and availability for 24/7 business and entertainment, and as a result, life is busier for everyone.
Even if you aren't part of the "bright lights, big city" world, you likely have more entertainment available to you in your own home, as well as more responsibilities than previous generations had.
Although things like watching television and turning on the lights in the evening are commonplace activities, you may need to re-think your modern living habits to cash in on a good night's sleep.
The most common causes of insomnia and poor sleep are the physical and mental habits of our modern waking life, including things we take for granted, such as watching our favorite evening television show, or shooting off an email before bed.
21st Century Living
10 Tips for Better Sleep
1) Avoid exercising in the evening.
Regular exercise helps normalize sleep patterns. However, it is best to avoid exercising in the evening and before bed. Although it may create an initial feeling of fatigue, exercise actually stimulates blood flow and energize bodily systems.
2) Avoid eating and drinking before bed.
Avoid eating and drinking within 3-4 hours of bedtime. Many important processes take place in our bodies while we sleep, including the regulation of insulin, leptin, and cortisol levels. Eating and drinking before bed can also disrupt sleep by causing digestive discomforts, or the need to use the restroom during the night.
3) Avoid alcohol before going to bed.
Although alcohol often functions as a depressant, it breaks down into sugar in your system, which can interfere with normal hormone functioning and contribute to poor sleep.
4) Eliminate caffeine and nicotine.
Both caffeine and nicotine inject adrenaline into your system and stimulate the brain and body. They are best avoided altogether, not just prior to bed. Additionally, caffeine has a 6 hour half-life, which means that 6 hours after consumption, half of the caffeine still remains in your system! Additionally, age and health have been known to extend that half-life for many people.
5) Reduce household light in the evening.
Humans are naturally influenced by the cycles of day and night. Unfortunately, the availability of artificial sunlight (electricity) 24/7 has left many of us without knowledge or experience of our natural circadian rhythms.
6) Avoid tv and computer activities.
Television, computer, and video game activities stimulate the brain, and should be avoided in the evening hours. In addition to any high-action content, the bright light from these appliances also stimulates the brain and pineal gland, and suppresses melatonin levels.
7) Sleep in complete darkness.
Even a small amount of light on the skin surface stimulates the pineal gland in the brain and shuts off natural melatonin production. Get rid of night lights, and cover stand-by appliance lights (including alarm clocks) with black electrical tape. Black out drapes are also a great tool for better sleep.
8) Slow down your brain and body with relaxing rituals before bed.
Training your brain and body to slow down in the evenings is an excellent way to promote better sleep. Relaxing rituals include turning down the lights, turning off the telephone, tv, and computer, meditation, taking a warm bath, journaling, or releasing excess energy through a non-physical activity such as vocal toning.
9) Empty your mind of your do-list.
For many people, the inability to shut off internal dialogue and planning is the key factor contributing to insomnia. In addition to the relaxation steps above, making a simple list before bed may silence those spinning thoughts.
10) Use NLP and hypnosis to quiet your mind and relax your body.
NLP and hypnosis techniques can teach you to relax and minimize internal chatter and mental planning. These techniques are simple and can be self-administered.
A good night's sleep is one of the most overlooked of all success tools!
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