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14 Ways to Get Better Sleep

12 December 2012

Our daily routine affects our quality

and patterns of sleep, so get a good night’s sleep by paying attention to your

daytime activities. The following tips will help you enhance your downtime and

increase your daily productivity to achieve emotional and physical wellbeing.

1-      The first step is to decide on the

number of hours you need. This varies from person to person, but averages 8

hours for optimum productivity.

2-      Although the number of hours may be

split up over the day and night, it has been proven that a consistent amount at

a regular time enhances our energy levels significantly.

3-      Choose a suitable bedtime, not too

early and not too late. Sink into your routine, slowly but surely. You will notice

how your body adjusts to this routine even at weekends. You may find that you

no longer need an alarm clock!

4-      If one night you get less sleep than

normal, don’t break your routine by waking up late – perhaps you can make them up

with a short afternoon nap.

5-      Avoid “food comas” by maintaining a

healthy diet. Overeating and oversleeping is a prime cause of obesity, as well

as leading to insomnia at night.

6-      While you actively try to set a

sleep pattern, your body plays a role in this too. Our bodies release the

melatonin hormone at night so that we can rest. This stops in the morning so that

we can be active and productive. You may notice that working in offices with no

natural light is associated with tiredness, as our melatonin levels increase in

this environment. Similarly, exposing the body to a lot of light at night, from

the TV for instance, decreases our melatonin secretion and we are left with

insomnia. You can help your natural pattern by exposing yourself to as much sunlight

as possible during the day, by limiting your use of sunglasses and working in a

place where natural light reaches you.

7-      The mind has a way of linking places

and actions, so avoid using your laptop or iPad on your bed. Dim your lights at

bedtime while you get ready for bed, and perhaps use a night light in case you

need the toilet or a glass of water at night.

8-      Exercising regularly helps immensely

in regulating your sleep pattern. All you need is 20 or 30 minutes of exercise

and your body will adjust.

9-      Improve your eating habits and

intake of healthy food.

10-   Write a to-do list before going to

bed, acknowledging that you can’t do them now and there is no point busying

your mind with them until tomorrow.

11-   Release stress by taking slow, deep

breaths before you go to sleep. Imagine a serene landscape and help yourself

relax with calming thoughts.

12-   Make sure the temperature is relatively

cool, as hot or stuffy rooms might cause you to have a broken sleep pattern as

you shift regularly.

13-   If you get back or neck pain you should

change your mattress and pillows, to protect your spine and get better sleep.

14-   Avoid heavy meals after 4 pm and

stop taking caffeinated drinks at least 10-12 hours before bedtime.

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