Thursday, March 24, 2011

Natural Ways To Sleep Better


1.Bask in morning sunshine
Light, especially the sun’s rays, has such a potent effect on our body’s internal clocks that we can actually use it to reset our sleep cycle, research shows. “Bright light in the morning cues the biology of sleep,” by influencing the timing of the body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone," says Harvey. 

Working out several times a week enhances our overall health and improves sleep . Research by Phyllis Zee, MD., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern University finds that early evening exercise three times a week between 5 to 7 PM appears to make people pleasantly tired, contributing to sounder slumber. It may also aid in relaxing after work and shedding the stresses of the day. 

3.Limit caffeine, especially in the evening.
The NSF poll found that the average American drinks at least three caffeinated beverages a day, a habit that contributes to sleepless nights. 

4.Go off the grid.
One hour before bedtime, dim the lights and sign off from technology use, advises Harvey. The bright light from small and big screens as we surf the Web, watch TV, or check emails stimulates the brain, instead of allowing it to slow down for shuteye. Also turn off the cell phone—and make sure  kids do so as well .To help  relax, try taking a warm bath before bed. Some studies show that the slight change in body temperature after a bath serves as a natural cue that it’s time to sleep.  

5.Make bedroom a sanctuary for sleep
Keep your bedroom comfortable cool, which promotes better shuteye than a warm or hot room, and free of any reminders of work, which can make you feel too stressed to relax, explains Harvey. 

6.Cover our clock.
One common mistake is keeping  alarm clock next to the bed. “We did a five-year research project on clock-watching and found it creates anxiety .Often people will wake up briefly, look at the clock, then fall back asleep, only to wake up an hour later and check the time again. They then conclude that they’ve been lying awake for an hour, giving people the impression that their insomnia is worse than it actually is.” 

7.Stick to a regular sleep schedule—even on weekends. 
Research shows that consistently arising at about the same time every day is crucial to setting and maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. In fact, it’s even more important physical and mental well-being than what time you go to bed.

No comments: