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What To Do To Sleep Better

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Limit Your Alcohol Intake Too

Put down the wine, beer, or cocktails at least three hours before hitting the sheets. Alcohol decreases your REM sleep, a sleep stage that occurs during the first 90 minutes after you fall asleep. We dont fully understand the underlying reason for REM sleep, but decades of study strongly suggest that it delivers important developmental and restorative functions for the brain, says Breus. Its believed that this sleep phase helps with memory consolidation and emotional processing.

Take A Vacation From Your Alarm Clock

Want to really identify your individual sleep needs? Try this sleep vacation experiment. To do this, you will need two weeks when you dont have somewhere to be at a specific time in the morning. If you have a flexible job, you can do this any time, or you may have to wait until a vacation.

The experiment requires a little discipline:

1. Pick the same bedtime every night.

2. Turn off your alarm.

3. Record the time you wake up.

Chances are, you will sleep longer during the first few days, because you are catching up on lost sleep, so the first few days of data wont be useful. But over the course of a few weeks, if you stick to the scheduled bedtime and allow yourself to wake up naturally, youll begin to see a pattern emerge of how many hours of sleep your body needs each night.

Once you determine your natural sleep needs, think about the time you need to wake up to get to work or school on time and pick a bedtime that allows you enough sleep to wake up naturally.

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Reduce Irregular Or Long Daytime Naps

While short power naps are beneficial, long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep.

Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night .

In fact, in one study, participants ended up being sleepier during the day after taking daytime naps .

Another study noted that while napping for 30 minutes or less can enhance daytime brain function, longer naps can harm health and sleep quality .

However, some studies demonstrate that those who are used to taking regular daytime naps dont experience poor sleep quality or disrupted sleep at night.

If you take regular daytime naps and sleep well, you shouldnt worry. The effects of napping depend on the individual .

SUMMARY

Long daytime naps may impair sleep quality. If you have trouble sleeping at night, stop napping or shorten your naps.

Your bodys circadian rhythm functions on a set loop, aligning itself with sunrise and sunset.

Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can aid long-term sleep quality .

One study noted that participants who had irregular sleeping patterns and went to bed late on the weekends reported poor sleep .

Other studies have highlighted that irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin, which signal your brain to sleep .

If you struggle with sleep, try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times. After several weeks, you may not even need an alarm.

Work With Your Circadian Rhythm

How Can a Night Owl Sleep Better?

Your circadian rhythm is an internal clock that helps your body function, adapt and know when to sleep. To some extent it’s out of your control but you can use environment and light to regulate your biological clock. When your circadian rhythm is out of whack, you’ll have trouble falling asleep and feel tired at strange times of the day.

If you think your circadian rhythm is off, there’s several things you can do — keep a consistent sleep and wake up time, get light in the morning and avoid blue light at night.

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What Time Should I Go To Bed

Though most adults go to bed in the late evening or very early morning, everyones ideal bedtime is different and determined by their schedule, their habits, and their specific chronotype . Someone’s ideal bedtime is whatever allows them to get an adequate amount of sleep and to go about their life with minimal fatigue. It may be necessary to experiment to find the best time for your body and brain.

Practice This Breathing Exercise

If you find yourself stressed and wide awake in the middle of the night, youll need to calm your racing thoughts and your racing heart before you can fall back asleep. Breus recommends practicing the 4-7-8 breathing method: Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and slowly exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this relaxation technique as many times as necessary until you lower your heartbeat to the optimal sleep rate of 60 beats or less per minute.

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Consider These Other Supplements

Several supplements can induce relaxation and help you sleep, including:

  • Ginkgo biloba: A natural herb with many benefits, it may aid sleep, relaxation, and stress reduction, but the evidence is limited. Take 250 mg 3060 minutes before bed (

75 ).

Another study found that alcohol consumption at night decreased the natural nighttime elevations in human growth hormone , which plays a role in your circadian rhythm and has many other key functions .

SUMMARY

Avoid alcohol before bed, as it can reduce nighttime melatonin production and lead to disrupted sleep patterns.

Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good nights sleep.

These factors include temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement .

Numerous studies point out that external noise, often from traffic, can cause poor sleep and long-term health issues .

In one study on the bedroom environment of women, around 50% of participants noticed improved sleep quality when noise and light diminished .

To optimize your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.

SUMMARY

Foods That Help You Sleep Better

HOW TO SLEEP BETTER | 10 natural sleep hacks to fall asleep fast

Written by Health experts, this article is fact-checked by nutritionists and based on scientific evidence.

Our team is comprised of unbiased licensed nutritionists, dieticians and health professionals. All articles posted are factually true and present both sides of the coin.

This article is backed by scientific facts. Click on the numbers to see the peer-reviewed scientific journals that we used for reference.

Getting a good nights sleep is imperative, and there are foods that can actually help you sleep better. Perhaps you already know of some foods that will keep you up past your bedtime, like coffee and cola, but there are foods that provide vitamins and minerals that trigger your bodys natural sleep signals, making you feel sleep and helping you stay asleep once youre there. Incorporate the following foods into your diet to see just how much of a difference it can make to your quality of sleep.

1. Cherries

2. Grapefruit

3. Almonds

4. Tomatoes

5. Yogurt

6. Dates

7. Tea

8. Kale

9. Miso Soup

10. Watermelon

11. Whole Grains

12. Bananas

13. Strawberries

14. Fish

15. Bell Peppers

16. Chickpeas

17. Broccoli

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Avoid Tobacco For Better Sleep

Nicotine has an effect on neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that influence mood and sleep. Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Studies have proven that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. Nicotine use suppresses restorative REM sleep. Smoking increases sleep-related respiratory problems. See your doctor if you’d like to quit smoking. There are medications and nicotine-replacement products that can help you wean off slowly and quit. Don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Many people try to quit a few times before they finally kick the nicotine habit for good. Many people are concerned about weight gain when they quit. Your doctor can advise you about diet and exercise strategies to combat that.

If You Cant Sleep Get Out Of Bed

Some nights, regardless of rock-solid habits, we can have trouble falling asleep.

Were human and we have human problems: work, family, relationships, your favorite team losing in the Super Bowl etc. Or even positives like a huge presentation the next day can keep us awake.

What do you then?

The answer, as Dr. Michael Grandner explains below, is to not stay in bed tossing and turning.

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Dr Robert S Rosenberg

Turn off your electronics one hour before bedtime. Electronic devices such as iPads, iPhones, laptops and televisions emit light in the blue spectrum. This type of light is most disturbing to sleep. It suppresses our melatonin production and in fact delays it. This leaves us unable to fall asleep and unable to waken alert in the morning. Blue light emitting devices are a major cause of insomnia in the USA.

Robert S. Rosenberg is an Arizona-based DO and FCCP whose sleep medicine expertise has appeared in Oprah Magazine, Prevention and Womens Health. Follow him .

Stick To A Sleep Schedule

SIMEDHealth

Out of all the sleep tips you could ever read or hear about, the most important one is to stick to one sleep scheduleevery day, saysMichael J. Breus, Ph.D., The Sleep Doctor, a clinical psychologist and a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

In other words, go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, including weekends. When sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will be in sync and all of your other bodily functions will go smoother, including your sleep, says Breus.

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Suggestions To Help You De

What keeps you up at night? More often than not, itâs an active mind caught up in worry and anxiety, agitation, or even sadness. Here are a few ways to de-stress so you can drift off to sleep more easily.

1. Try some gentle yoga poses before bedtime. According to a survey by The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than 85% of those who practiced yoga reported reduced stress and 55% reported better sleep. These 7 restorative yoga poses before bed have been shown to increase relaxation and relieve tension.

2. Start a gratitude list each day. Many studies suggest a connection between gratitude and feelings of wellbeing. Practicing gratitude can have many positive effects on our lives including lowering blood pressure, reducing risks of depression and anxiety, and setting the right conditions for better sleep, according to Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude. Consider keeping a gratitude journal, writing down a few things youâre thankful for a few times per week. Thereâs no right or wrong way to do this, but here are a few tips to get you started.

3. Bathe before bedtime. Taking a warm bath or shower an hour or two before bed has been shown to relax both the body and mind, in one study lowering both heart rate and blood pressure. Heat relaxes tense, tired muscles, and helps you de-stress.

Try This Breathing Technique

There is a breathing method called the 4-7-8 practice that many people swear by. Dr. Andrew Weil gives a nice summary of howitworks. Ill let the expert explain, but basically you inhale for a count of 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and then exhale for 8 seconds, and this calms down your parasympathetic nervous system.

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Tip : Control Your Exposure To Light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when its darkmaking you sleepyand less when its lightmaking you more alert. However, many aspects of modern life can alter your bodys production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm. Heres how to influence your exposure to light:

Actionable Steps To Avoid Tossing And Turning In Bed:

How to Sleep Better at Night Naturally ð´ Tips for the best sleep
  • First, put a nice book or magazine by a couch thats not in your bedroom.
  • Second, have a sweater or robe and slippers next to your bed. That way, if youre tossing and turning you wont think Its too cold! you can just toss on something cozy and go read.
  • Then, read in low light for a little while until you start to feel sleepy again, only then returning to bed.

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Listen To Your Body To Inform Your Sleep Schedules

HSPs are highly intuitive. When it comes to getting sleep, listening to your bodys natural rhythms can help you create a sleep schedule that works for you.

Each person is different. So are their sleeping habits, according to Annie Miller, a cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia psychotherapist at DC Metro Sleep & Psychotherapy.

While some people need 10 hours of sleep, others need only 6 hours of sleep. Try not to worry about getting sleep right, and instead set a schedule that works for you.

The most important thing, Miller says, is having a sleep window with a strict wake time. This means that no matter what, you get up at the exact same time every day. With that wake time in mind, you can create a time frame for when you go to bed.

Sip On Tart Cherry Juice

Craving a drink? Pour yourself a glass of tart cherry juice instead of wine. Tart cherry juice increases your melatonin levels, says Samantha Cassetty, RD, a New York City-based nutritionist. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that older insomniacs who drank two eight-ounce glasses of tart cherry juice a day slept for 85 minutes more than those who downed a placebo drink.

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Use A Cpap Machine For Sleep Apnea

Twenty two million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to momentarily stop breathing while you’re asleep. If you snore loudly or make a choking sound while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea. People who have the sleep disorder also report feeling groggy and tired, even after what felt like a sound night’s sleep.

If you suspect you or a loved one has sleep apnea, seek medical attention — the long term oxygen deprivation can cause serious health complications. Your doctor will likely prescribe a CPAP machine, which will help you breathe well and sleep soundly at night.

Take Short Naps In The Afternoon

How to Fall Asleep And Stay Asleep [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you nap correctly, it doesn’t have to throw off your sleep later that night. In fact, naps done right can be a great supplement to a night of lost sleep.

To make sure you’re not lying wide awake the night after an afternoon nap, follow these do’s and don’ts. You should nap in the early afternoon, optimize your napping environment and keep naps between 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t replace your nap with caffeine, feel guilty about napping or sandwich your nap with screen time.

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Fix Your Magnesium Deficiency

Yes, you almost certainly have a magnesium deficiency. Mostpeople do. The blog Wellness Mama tacklesthisissue in great detail, and I highly recommend you take the time to read about it.

Low magnesium is one of the unfortunate side effects of modern living. Caffeine, alcohol and processed food consumption, along with depleted nutrients in our soil, are contributing factors.

Fortunately, magnesium deficiency can be remedied through supplementation and/or adding more magnesium-rich food to your diet. One food with a lot of magnesium thats great for bedtime are bananas.

Visualize Things That Make You Happy

Instead of lying in bed worrying and thinking about stressful things, visualize a place that makes you feel happy and calm.

In one insomnia study, participants were able to fall asleep faster after they were instructed to use an imagery distraction .

This technique helped them occupy their mind with good thoughts instead of engaging with worries and concerns during the pre-sleep time.

Picturing and concentrating on an environment that makes you feel peaceful and relaxed can take your mind away from the thoughts that keep you up at night .

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What To Give Your Dog To Sleep Through The Night

Is your dog struggling to sleep through the night? Is your new puppy unwilling to settle into a good nightly sleep routine? Sleep is essential for your dogs growth, adaptation to its environment, and overall health. To ensure that you and your dog get the needed rest, well give some tips on how to get your dog to sleep through the night.

How Much Sleep Does Your Dog Need

How to sleep better? 5 effective ways

Most dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep each day, but some dogs need more rest depending on age:

  • Puppies: Need 18 -20 hours to grow and develop.
  • Adult dogs: Need 12-14 hours to maintain health.
  • Senior dogs: Need 12-14 hours but may sleep 16-18 hours because of mobility issues, obesity, or fatigue from physical activities, especially for dogs over six years old or older larger breeds.

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