Tips for Better Sleep

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How you feel while you are awake can heavily depend on how well you slept the night before. Similarly, your daily routine can also have an impact on the quality of rest you get at night. It is important to experiment with different sleep strategies to see what works best for you.

– Sticking with a sleep schedule, even on weekends, is one of the most important strategies for getting a good night’s rest. Being consistent reinforces you body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.

– It is important to avoid naps if you have regular trouble falling asleep at night. If you must nap, keep it brief (20 minutes or less) and do it early in the day. Any shut eye within eight hours of your bedtime can sabotage a good night’s sleep.

– Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality as long as you don’t work out too close to bedtime. Aim to finish any vigorous exercise 3-4 hours before you go to sleep.

– Avoid heavy foods and big meals late in the day and finish snacks at least an hour before bed.200434115-001

– Managing your stress plays a big factor in getting a good night’s rest. When you have too much on your mind, your sleep is likely to suffer. Before bed, write down what is on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

– Soothing “white noise” can mask undesired distractions such as traffic noise or a partner’s snoring. Using a fan, air conditioner or white noise generator in the bedroom can help neutralize sounds that can keep you up at night.

– The bedroom should be reserved strictly for sleep and intimacy. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment and avoid activities that cause anxiety and prevent you from falling asleep.

Sleeping Positions And Your Health

177840546-smallHow you sleep at night can play a big role in your overall health. While getting enough sleep is very important, how you sleep also plays a big factor. Different sleeping positions can affect your back, neck and spine as well as snoring, insomnia and sleep apnea. While sleeping on your back with your arms at your side is generally considered to be the best position for your spine health, back sleepers tend to snore more and sleep apnea is strongly associated with this position.

Common sleeping positions:

Fetal position: Sleeping curled up in to a ball with your knees drawn up and your head tilted might be comfortable, but it can unfavorable for your back and neck and restrict deep breathing.

On your back, arms down: This is thought to be the best position for your spine and neck although it is also associated with snoring and sleep apnea.

On your back, arms up: Also known as the “starfish”, this position is also good for your back and may also help to prevent wrinkles and breakouts. While it can also result in snoring, having your arms up can put pressure on the nerves in your shoulders leading to pain.

Face down: While sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion, sleeping face down forces you to tilt your head to the side to breath and put a lot of strain on your neck and back as the curve of the spine is not supported.

On side: When sleeping on your side with your arms down, the spine is best supported in its natural curve. The can help reduce back pain and sleep apnea. The downside? Sleeping on your side can contribute to skin aging and wrinkles due to gravity.

Pillow-Supplemented: Regardless of which sleeping position you prefer, it’s likely you’ll get a better night’s rest with less pain by supplementing your body with a pillow. Back sleepers can put a small pillow under the arch of their spine, side sleepers and place a pillow between the knees and stomach sleepers can place a pillow under their hips.

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