A guide to a good nights sleep

Tips & Tricks for getting better sleep and rest
A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.

If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep to strengthen the association between bed and sleep.

Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.

Keep your bedroom dark, especially as you get older. Even small amounts of light and noise can disturb sleep as you age.

A positive outlook on insomnia!
Look on two or three nights of insomnia as a gift—the gift of time you wanted to get done all that you have to get done. Insomnia may be functional, a signal that you need to attend to what got you up.

Don't worry about the consequences of not sleeping. Worrying about insomnia can create insomnia.

Do not try to induce sleepiness by drinking alcohol. Yes, it's a great relaxant—but it is metabolized so quickly it creates rebound insomnia within the night; it's so fast-acting you'll be up in four short hours.

Open your blinds and curtains. Exposing yourself to early morning sunlight helps your body wake up by regulating your biological clock and keeping it on track.

Take a cat nap. If you’re able to take a nap, keep it to less than 30 minutes and ideally do it between 2 and 3 p.m.,It can help you function, especially if you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep at night. If you’re already well rested from a great night’s sleep you can skip this step.

Even if you’re having a busy day, try to do some activity — a regular exercise routine is good for your sleep schedule. According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercise of any type can help improve daytime sleepiness, and self-described exercisers report experiencing better sleep than non-exercisers, even if they’re getting the same amount of hours each night. Other research suggests that aerobic physical activity over a few months can help improve sleep quality, mood and overall quality of life.

It’s best to turn off all of your electronic devices before you go to bed for an uninterrupted night’s sleep. And even more so with those that emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin production and shifts the circadian rhythm to a later time period.

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