sometimes i have troubles sleeping. i wake up at night, toss and turn all the time. as a result, i'm very moody in the morning, always sleepy and kind of unhappy.
here are some tips for better sleep that i've found. hope they'll help cause chronic sleep deprivation is dangerous.
Sleepless nights can increase your risk of car accidents, obesity and diabetes.
“Disturbed sleep doesn’t just affect your quality of life; it also can have serious, long-term health consequences ,” says Lisa Shives, M.D., medical director of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Ill., and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
what to do:
1. Power down.
Laptops make it harder to nod off.
Why? The computer’s light triggers your suprachiasmatic nucleus, a tiny receptor in the brain that regulates circadian (or body) rhythms, including the sleep-wake cycle.
Exposing eyes to the light can make the receptor think it’s time to get up, Shives says.
Tip: Shut down the laptop – and stop texting – 1-2 hours before bedtime.
2. Get your office out of the bedroom (oh, that's so hard to do!!!!)
Sleep studies show that people rest better in test rooms than at home. That’s because we do more than snooze in bed. That includes working, snacking and watching TV.
Tip: Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, cool and free of stimulating distractions. Reserve the bedroom for two things only: sleep and sex, says David Schulman, M.D., director of the Emory Sleep Disorders Laboratory in Atlanta.
3. Stop worrying.
More than 30% of 1,000 Americans toss and turn about economic worries at least a few nights a week, according to a 2009 National Sleep Foundation study. Some 12% said they stressed about money almost every night.
Tip: Distract your troubles with music, an audio book or soothing sounds from a white-noise machine. Noise in the bedroom leads to relaxation, because part of your brain pays attention to the [sound] in a good way.
4. Don't rely on liquor to knock you out.
A drink might help you fall asleep, but that initial drowsiness doesn’t last. Once you metabolize the alcohol, “that sedating effect wears off, generally in four hours,” Shives says. “You then wake up – more awake than ever.”
Tip: A cup of milk, chamomile tea or warm, non-caffeinated liquid are healthier options. Why does hot liquid make you drowsy? It first raises the body’s core temperature, which then drops rapidly, Shives says. A cool body helps you sleep better.
5. Cool down your bedroom.
A warm bedroom and pile of blankets can set you up for a sleepless night. Insomnia is associated with higher core-body temperatures, according to a 2008 Australian study.
Tip: Lower the thermostat to 60˚-65˚ before you get into bed. That helps your brain cool the body while you’re asleep, in a sense shutting down your engines, Schulman says.
Taking a hot bath or shower 2-4 hours before bed can help too, because it raises, then cools, body temperature – just like that hot beverage will, Shives says.
6. Eat an earlier dinner.
Digesting a heavy late-night meal makes your body work when it should be relaxing, disrupting your night’s sleep, Shives says. But don’t go to bed on a completely empty stomach. Hunger can also keep you up (that's so true! )
Tip: Eating dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime gives your body enough time to finish its job. If you’re hungry, eat a light snack at least an hour before you go to sleep. Stick to cheese, turkey and other proteins, which contains the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
7. No caffeine after lunch.
Coffee, your morning wake-up buddy, can keep you revved up at night when the body needs rest – especially if you keep sipping throughout the day.
Beware energy drinks too: Red Bull, Jolt and other pep-up beverages can contain twice the amount of caffeine as a cup of java, Horowitz says.
Tip: Limit your coffee to 1-2 cups before noon and avoid caffeinated drinks, especially energy drinks, for the rest of the day.
8. Be consistent about bedtime.
Varying sleep and waking times throws off your internal clock, making it harder to doze off. And don’t count on sleeping late on weekends to catch up.
Tip: Set routine sleep and wake-up times, even on weekends. If you can’t stick to a specific bedtime, wake up at the same time. That plays a greater role in setting your internal clock, Horowitz says.
9. Ditch the sheep if you can't sleep.
Watching the minutes tick by and stressing about sleep will only make it harder to nod off.
Tip: Don’t stay in bed tossing and turning for more than 30 minutes. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something else. Why? Getting out of bed for a while allows the brain to relax so you'll fall asleep more quickly. Also, turn the face of your alarm clock away so you won’t be tempted to check it and start stressing again about not sleeping.
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Tips For Better Sleep
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