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Sound Asleep:Getting a Better Night's Rest

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Considering the fact we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, we never seem to feel like we get enough. Many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. There are habits that can be changed or adapted to help you get the zzz’s that you need.

Make sure that you are going to sleep in a comfortable environment. Make your bed in the morning to make it more inviting to crawl into at night. Also, make your bed a comfortable space; with a comfy mattress, supporting pillows, and soft sheets and blankets. You need to feel relaxed and secure at night.

It is important to set up a routine or schedule. The more routine your body is to fall asleep and wake up at a set time the more refreshed you will feel. Set a time to go to bed every night. It may be hard, initially, but once you are accustomed to it you will benefit greatly.

Change your habits to make your room a snooze sanctuary. If you are used to reading and watching TV in bed, try to get out of the habit. Do not go to your room until you are ready to sleep. Also, turn all of the lights around you down about an hour before bed. This will make your body aware that it is time to start slowing and shutting down.

Try not to eat heavy meals within three hours of sleep. Extra food in your stomach can cause discomfort as your body tries to digest and to also shut down. On the other hand, going to bed hungry can be just as hindering. Try having a light snack after dinner if you’re feeling hungry. A handful of cracker or a small bowl of cereal will allow you to sleep satiated. Peanut butter or turkey slices are smart pre-bed snack choices. They both contain tryptophan which naturally makes the body tired and sluggish.

Contrary to the old tradition of a glass of water next to the bed, beverages at nighttime are not your friend. Drinking fluids at night, especially alcohol, causes you to wake up with the urge to go to the bathroom. Once you are awake, it can be difficult to fall back to sleep. Although that glass of wine helps you calm down and feel tired, it may keep you up half the night.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Sound Asleep:Getting a Better Night's Rest

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