8 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep impacts your mental, physical and emotional well-being. If you have trouble falling asleep, toss and turn, or wake up groggy, it’s vital that you address your sleep issues.

  • ​1 – Read in Bed: Calming activities, such as reading (in print, not your e-reader), will help you wind down and slow your brainwaves
  • 2 – Get Off Your Computer: The light emanating from your device actually activates your brain
  • 3 – Eat Early: Eat your large meal 2-3 hours before bedtime. If you get hungry, have a light snack 45 minutes before you turn in for the night
  • 4 – Lights Out: Research has shown that the deepest, most relaxing sleep occurs when the room is dark; wear a soft eye mask if need be
  • 5 – Set Limits: Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. ‘Nuff said.
  • 6 – Turn Off the TV: While it’s tempting to ”veg out” or “drift off” in front of the television at night, programs that spike your adrenaline (intense action, violence or crime) are completely counterproductive to your sleep goals
    (And, if you fall asleep with the TV on, the lights will actually disrupt your all-important sleep cycles…see “Get Off Your Computer,” above.)
  • 7 – Restorative Poses: Certain “restorative” poses and movements in Yoga and Tai Chi have been reported to aid in your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep
  • 8 – Pink Noise: Sounds of running water (I’m not talking about a plumbing emergency here), wind through leaves and rain falling are not only soothing, but they block out other, more distracting noises.

6 Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

  • 1 – Poor Balance and Coordination: Lack of sleep can affect your balance and coordination, making you more prone to accidents
  • 2 – Weakened Immune System: Too little sleep weakens your defenses against germs and viruses
  • 3 – High Blood Pressure: People who sleep less than 5 hours per night have higher blood pressure than those with adequate sleep
  • 4 – Risk for Diabetes: Your body’s insulin and blood sugar levels are affected by sleep, leaving you prone to type 2 diabetes
  • 5 – Low Sex Drive: Sleep is also connected to sex drive and testosterone levels
  • 6 – Weight Gain: The chemical (leptin) that signals your brain when you are “full” decreases when you don’t get enough sleep, causing you to overeat, even when you’re sated

More Facts About Sleep

  • ​Snoring is the primary cause of sleep disruption for approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis
  • Humans naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2am and 2pm (hence the mid-afternoon slump)
  • Scientists still don’t know–and probably never will–if animals dream during REM sleep, as humans do
  • Sleep deprivation will kill you more quickly than food deprivation
  • Divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia
  • 36 percent of American drive drowsy or fall asleep while driving
  • Humans are the only mammals that will willingly delay sleep
  • Cats sleep about ⅔ of their entire lives; humans, about ⅓
  • Falling asleep at night should take you 10-15 minutes
  • Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise

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