Everyone knows the importance of a quality night’s sleep. Getting enough shut eye can promote concentration, immunity, and overall quality of life. Those who struggle with getting good sleep understand the frustration of tossing and turning all hours of the night, only to get a couple of hours before beginning another day. Luckily there are plenty of things we can do (or not do) in order to get the best sleep possible. For most adults, that is about eight hours a night but may vary depending on age or illness.
One of the biggest tips to getting a good night’s sleep is cutting out caffeine after lunch. Studies have shown that people who consume coffee or other caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or evening were less likely to get the sleep they need. While some people have higher tolerances to caffeine’s effects, researchers believe that eliminating consumption of caffeine six hours before bed is best.
Another thing you want to avoid is too much screen time before bed. Yes it is hard to put the tablet or phone down while snuggling into bed, but it may be one of the best ways to increase your ability to fall asleep. Staring at glaring screens can mess with our body’s internal clock, tricking the brain into thinking it is not time for sleep. It is recommended that people spend the last two hours screen-free, but if you need to ease your addiction slowly that is fine.
Researchers suggest that in addition to avoiding the aforementioned items, there are things you can do to promote sleep. Certain foods that are rich in protein and omega-3s can promote overall sleep duration and quality if eaten at least an hour before bed time. In addition, keeping active and healthy can set people up for sweet dreams. People who exercise regularly and drink less alcohol tend to have overall better sleep patterns than people who lead slightly less healthy lifestyles. If you still find yourself tossing and turning, try sleeping in a new position. For example, laying on your stomach can lower your heart rate, allowing you to drift off into dream land. Still at a loss? Take a melatonin half an hour before bed or see your doctor. You may be suffering from a sleep disorder that could be treated easily.
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