Developing Good Sleep Habits Brings Good Health

When you wake up, do you immediately look forward to going back to bed? When the alarm goes off, does it seem as though you just closed your eyes? It's time to get a good night's sleep. After all, it's amazing what a restful night's sleep can do for your body.

Battling chronic exhaustion will either; force you to find ways to get more rest or it'll bring on ill health. Naturally, you'll want to develop an effective sleep routine before your body forces you to relax.

Restful Night

Try some of these sleep tips so you can get a better night's sleep and wake up feeling energized:

1. Make your bedroom your sanctuary. Keep your room neat and quiet, so you feel calm upon entering. Your room needs to be a getaway from the stress of the day. When a TV is on, even if you aren't watching it, the light output feels almost as powerful as the sun. The light confuses your body and makes it hard to “shut down” even after you've turned off the screen.

* If you have a TV or a home office in your bedroom, it will interfere with your ability to go to sleep. Move the television out of the bedroom or at the very least, try placing a sheet over it, so you're not tempted to watch it before bed.

2. Keep your room dark. Your body is designed to sleep when it's dark. If you're not used to this, try it for a while anyway. Children are used to sleeping with a light on, but you'll soon realize that it's a huge distraction in getting to sleep. Pull the curtains closed, turn off all the lights, shut your door, then sleep like you're hibernating.

* Many stores sell “blackout” curtains that block out the sunlight, so the room remains dark. Consider using these curtains to darken the room sufficiently.


3. Exercise during the day. Exercising during the day releases stress hormones to help you feel more relaxed. Most forms of exercise will pep you up and give you more energy immediately afterward so make sure you work out well ahead of bedtime.

* The energy you receive from daytime exercise will give you more restful nights because your body will be less stressed and more relaxed. You'll be giving your body a total makeover!

* Even though yoga is considered relaxing, it may keep you awake if done in the evening hours. Plan your exercise routine either in the morning or late afternoon.

4. Make yourself a bedtime routine. Not only does it work for kids, but if you get in the habit of going to bed at a particular time, your body will expect to be sleeping. Some recommend milk right before bed, as it contains the sleep-inducing chemical tryptophan.

* Create a bedtime routine that involves things that make you tired, such as soft music, a warm shower, light reading material, or journaling.

* Television stimulates the mind too much, which can cause difficulty sleeping. Try recording your favorite nighttime TV shows to watch the next day, rather than staying up late.


5. Leave daytime stress outside. To rest, you'll want to put aside things that keep your mind whirling. By maintaining a calendar of things to do the next day, you can put your mind to rest.

* Make sure you've dealt with all the questions that keep you awake – what bills need to be paid, what time the doctor appointment is, and so on before you lay down. Keeping notes frees you up for sleep.

Once you've learned to rest well at night, you'll experience a vast improvement in your quality of life. No more yawning through the mornings and the groggy, grumpy you will be replaced with an energetic person ready to take on life.

So what are you waiting for? Start a relaxing bedtime routine tonight and wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow!

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