There are many habits in our daily lives that influence the way we sleep such as: our diet, sleep starvation, work stress, different medical conditions, lack of exercise and discipline, too much coffee, computer work or too much TV. When it comes to sleep, we are victims of our bad habits and most of the problems can be fixed if we are changing elements of our lifestyle. Sleep Matters Ambassadors suggest 10 ways we can make this change and improve our sleep and health.
- Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, and energy drinks at least six hours before going to bed.
Caffeine boosts adrenaline production and suppresses sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. Though moderate
caffeine intake is not known to be associated with identified health risks, it affects sleeping patterns if consumed before
- Reduce fluids before bedtime. Drink fewer fluids late at night to avoid the likelihood of trips to the
bathroom. Caffeinated drinks, in particular, are known for their diuretic properties.
- Avoid heavy late-night dinners. Attempt to schedule dinner at least two hours prior to bedtime,
avoiding rich, fatty, spicy or acidic foods that put a strain on your stomach. Try having cottage cheese, protein shakes or
steamed vegetables as healthy alternatives.
- Place the bed along a solid wall to offer maximum support and protection. Sleep is the time when the
body undergoes detoxification and repair. Just like our back when sitting in a chair, our head needs protection and support.
Also, avoid positioning the bed underneath a beam, fan or overhead storage.
- Invest in a good mattress. A mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep.When it comes to
buying one, put your money on a mattress that is made to last. Look for that one that offers comfort, support and
durability. There is no absolute truth about which mattress you should choose, and the choice can come down to personal
preference, budget or availability.
- Use colors that are soothing to the eye. Colors in the bedroom can affect your sleep pattern and your
mood.It is better to keep bright bold colors and patterns, that can be over-stimulating, to a minimum. Opt for white
bed sheets, either 100% cotton or linen.
- Avoid electrical appliances in the bedroom. Television, laptops, mobiles create electro-magnetic
radiation that disturbs the energy fields around the bed. Exposure to artificial light from electronic devices suppresses the
production of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Avoid working on laptops or
watching TV at least an hour prior to bedtime.
- Have a wind-down routine prior to bedtime. Listen to relaxing music, light candles and take a hot
shower. Use essential oils such as lavender for their natural sleeping remedies: either as body oil, scented oil in a heated
diffuser, or mist spray on pillows.
- Set a wake time that is a multiple of 90 minutes: Sleep is comprised of 90-minute cycles—deep
sleep, light sleep and a dream phase. If going to bed at 11:00pm, set the alarm for 6:30am (7.5 hours later). Ultimately, an
interrupted sleep cycle leaves one feeling more drained than getting more hours of sleep (8 or 8.5); hence, you can
actually feel more energized from sleeping less. IP information Decide on a sleep schedule and adhere to it daily.
- Try a breathing exercise: Deep breathing—using both the rib cage and the abdominal muscles—
reduces stress and blood pressure, promotes better blood flow and releases toxins. Try the following daily exercise before
- Inhale through the nose for a count of 6; hold for a count of 3
- Exhale through the nose for a count of 6; hold for a count of 3
- Repeat this series 4 more times
For more information on sleep please visit www.sleepmattersme.com