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Sleep: Insomnia's 6 Worst Enemies
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LIVE WELL
Aug 21, 2015 |

When you sleep, the cells in your body renew to keep you healthy. This is why sleep deprivation can take a serious toll on your mind, body, and health. In order to maintain a healthy sleep pattern and get a good night’s rest, you might want to keep this tips in mind:

1. Work it off

A good start is to introduce exercise into your daily routine. Even 30 minutes of walk per day will be helpful. Being active increases your metabolism and fights stress and anxiety, which in turn will help you get that good night’s sleep.

2. Wake up with an app

Did you know that sleep works in cycles, and that waking up at the right point in the cycle will mean you feel less tired? Both smart watches and clever mobile apps can work as your personal sleep adviser, telling you what time to go to bed and monitoring your sleep cycles to wake you up at the right time.

3. Watch what’s on your plate

Avoid eating a heavy meal just before bedtime, as this can cause bloating. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine, as these items too can disrupt sleep. A 2013 study led by Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital’s Sleep Disorders & Research Center showed that caffeine intake even up to six hours before bedtime can result in significantly diminished quality and quantity of sleep. .

 

4. Be picky about your pillow

Choosing the right pillow can make a big difference to your sleep quality. If you sleep on your stomach, a very thin pillow will be more comfortable as it will keep your neck aligned with your spine. If you prefer to sleep on your side, a thicker and firmer pillow will fill the space between your ear and your shoulder, preventing neck pain.

5. Don’t force yourself

If you really can’t fall asleep, get up and do something relaxing until you start feeling sleepy again. Don’t lie in bed feeling stressed out about not sleeping, as this will make it even harder for you to fall asleep.

6. Take time to wind down

Take it easy before bedtime, as your body needs time to ease into sleep mode. Take a warm bath or find some time to read. Also avoid using your laptop or smart phone just before lights out or in the middle of the night. A study has shown that light from screens alters sleepiness and alertness, and suppresses melatonin levels.

If these tips aren’t doing the trick, it may be a good idea to seek medical advice for prolonged bouts of insomnia. Your GP should be your first point of contact for more serious issues.

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