Sleeping Tips: Love Your Pillow and Your Life

Many of us find ourselves struggling with sleep, at least occasionally.  It can be tough to balance stress, family life, the to-do list, etc., and sleep is often the first thing sacrificed as we try to accomplish everything.

I love this little tidbit from Prevention.  Sleeping 7 ½ hours a night for three nights in a row guarantees you’ll get at least five cycles of REM sleep at least once, which creates the most restorative stage 4 sleep you can have.  This will catch you up and leave you energized.  So try and consciously strategize to get enough sleep before a big project or meeting at work, or before you travel to help keep your immune system at its most powerful.

Other tips for sleeping well

  • Shut off electronics an hour before bedtime; the glow from the screens can mess with your melatonin.
  • Develop a routine before bedtime that signals to your body it’s time to relax.
  • Exercise regularly; people who routinely workout find their sleep problems disappear.
  • Keep lights low an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Set a regular bedtime and stick to it; don’t get distracted by the TV or social media. (my big problem … Twitter!)
  • Lower the thermostat at night; studies show that sleeping between 64 and 68 degrees is ideal.
  • Turn off the caffeine at lunch time.  The less caffeine in your system, the less you’ll have to worry about.
  • No alcohol after dinner time.  While alcohol is a sedative, it does not lead to the restful REM sleep cycles talked about above.  It’s best to stop with a drink at dinner.
  • Consider meditating at night or a wind-down yoga routine.  Doing either of these activites will put your body in a very relaxed state.  I’m not talking a whopper power yoga class, just a few simple moves to help your body relax, dekink, and wind down.  Think Savasana, not warrior …

To learn more, here are some tips on Everything for a Healthy Body.  Have you ever had problems sleeping?  What did you do to get back on track?  When was the last time you awoke with that delicious feeling that you were totally, completely rested and raring to go? I’d love to hear your thoughts …

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