Getting adequate sleep is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle and preventing chronic diseases. As an adult only seven to nine hours is needed each night, and it is very important that you get these hours! Don’t underestimate the effects of “beauty sleep” either. A Japanese Study in Prevention Magazine found that if you are face-to-the-ceiling when you sleep you reverse the wrinkles caused in the day by gravity. Like our mind and body, our skin needs to recuperate too.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) discloses that insufficient sleep has been linked to developing a number of chronic diseases. Some of these diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Much of the risk to developing a disease is linked to duration of sleep.
Going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning help your body cycle and routine, this is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Also going to bed in a dark, relaxing environment without electronics and stimulants that will keep your mind active. Being physically active a few hours before you go to bed may help promote sleep in addition to avoiding large meals hours before bed time.
Starting a bedtime routine so you can better make an effort to get your needed hours each night is extremely beneficial. Better Sleep Better Life maintains “A relaxing bedtime routine helps to prepare your brain and body for bed and promotes restful sleep.” It is tough to go straight to bed after the activities of daily life without a bedtime routine.
Plan your bedtime routine: Better Sleep Better Life
- When you plan a routine keep it simple and fairly short, something you can accomplish each night without trouble.
- This routine should be something that soothes and relaxes you so you can wind down from the day.
- Taking baths: Bathing before bed helps trigger sleep because of the drop in body temperature. Read your favorite book, use bath oils, candles or anything else that helps relax you.
- Relaxing techniques: After busy or active days relaxation practices like stretching, yoga or massage are good for your mind and body.
- Healthy bedtime snacks: Although you shouldn’t eat a hardy meal or junk food before bed, there are some foods that contain tryptophan and promote healthy sleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that may help you feel sleep, in foods like dairy products, whole grains and nuts and seeds. There is a reason that mothers give warm milk to their babies at night!
- Avoid activities and food that disrupts sleep: Working on the computer, strenuous exercising, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and large meals should be avoided hours before you go to bed.
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