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Statistics are showing an alarming number of Americans – approximately one third of the US population are getting less than 7 hours of sleep every night. This is not good news for the medical industry as lack of sleep can lead to numerous health problems such as heart disease, stress related symptoms, memory problems, and weight gain.
The first item on the agenda for a good night’s sleep is to reduce caffeine, or limit it to certain parts of the day. You could also stop taking naps during the day and use our list of sure fire tips below to help you get the recommended dose of shuteye each night.
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1. Create A Sleep Journal
The formula for perfect sleep is elusive and changes for each person. A good strategy is to try a variety of different techniques and give them a decent amount of time before you decide they aren’t helping.
Keeping a diary – or sleep journal – can help you to evaluate each method fairly and find the best sleep strategy that is going to work for you.
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2. Drink Herbal Tea Instead
Caffeine is a stimulant that is responsible for an awful lot of sleepless nights. Caffeine-free teas are available in special blends designed to help you relax and get your mind adequately prepared for sleepy time.
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3. Modify Your Diet
To begin with, you should be cutting out foods that contain caffeine – including soft drinks, tea, coffee, and chocolate. If you are going to indulge, make sure you do it during the earlier hours rather than late afternoon.
Dinner should be a light meal consumed a few hours before your usual bed time and skip the spicy and heavy foods which can lead to indigestion or heart burn.
4. Take A Warm Bath
Rose petals and candles are optional but a nice warm soak in the bath can help you relax. The warm water slightly elevates your body temperature. Stepping out of the bath initiates a rapid cool-down which simulates the natural drop in temperature as it prepares for sleep.
This strategy is backed up by a study completed in 1985 which reported that people who take a warm baths fell asleep more quickly and reported better quality sleep than those who didn’t.
5. Develop A Sleep Routine
Tempting as it may be, sleeping in until after midday on Saturday only helps to disrupt your biological clock which can later develop into sleeping difficulty.
Being regular with your sleep can help a lot so make sure you start hitting the pillows at about the same time every night, even on weekends. This helps to regulate your sleep-wake clock so you can get a decent amount of quality sleep rather than spend the time tossing and turning.
Lavender has been discovered to be a great aid in regards to sleeping. It’s also cheap and readily available.
A spray with real lavender may be the best method of dispersal and you can spritz a little onto your pillow before bedtime. Lavender filled pillows are also available as a convenient option.
7. Just A Little Sugar
Meals should be finished at least two or three hours before your scheduled bed time. Some people however, may benefit from a small snack of milk and cookies 30 minutes before hitting the sack. The sugary meal often acts as a very mild sedative without the fuzziness and disorientation associated with the harder synthetic sleeping pills.
You can also get the same results with a little bit of honey to get to sleep more quickly. One tablespoon of honey added to a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea may do the trick; milk could also be a viable relaxing alternative to tea providing it’s warmed up.
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