The Importance of Sleep (Part 2)

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The Importance of SleepThose of us at Smith Mountain Lake who sleep soundly all through the night should be incredibly thankful. There are many folks who have not had a good nights sleep in many years.

Thankfully there are some things you can try that may make a huge difference in how well you sleep. Improving your sleep will likely involve some trial and error, but most notice that one or more of the following changes have brought about a greater number of hours slept during the night.

– One thing all the experts agree on is the need for complete darkness. Cover the lighted clock, turn out the night-lights and block out the street lights for optimal sleep. Light stops your body from producing important hormones and tells it that it’s time to wake up. If you cannot block out the light wear a cover of some kind over your eyes.

– Only get in your bed when it is time to go to sleep. Do not watch tv, read or other such things from your bed. If you take naps in the middle of the day use the recliner or couch for nap. Save the bed for nighttime sleep only.

– Believe it or not the temperature of your bedroom cannot be too warm or it will disrupt your sleep. Research shows that if it is cooler than 60 degrees or warmer than 68 degrees it will affect your ability to sleep.

– Go to bed as soon after the sun sets as you possibly can. Your body does repair work between the hours of 11pm. and 3am. that cannot be gotten at any other time. Once you have established a bedtime, try to stick with that time of sleeping and rising. It will help your body to develop a regular sleep pattern.

– Remove as many electrical devices from your bedroom as you can. All electrical appliances, TV, radio, exercise machines, etc. produce waves that can affect sleeping patterns.

– Most of us know not to drink much in the way of liquids before bedtime and make the effort to use the bathroom right before bed. Doing these 2 simple things eliminates the need to get up in the middle of the night and disrupt good sleep.

– Do not eat ANYTHING right before bed. However a couple hours prior to your bedtime is a good time to eat foods containing protein (nuts, nut butter, cheese, meat, etc.) and a very small piece of fruit (which helps the protein be used beneficially at night).

– Little things can facilitate better sleep such as a hot bath or shower late at night, wearing socks or using a heating pad on your feet, listen to soothing music or sounds of nature, avoid caffeine and suspense novels, avoid alcohol and sweets and exercise for a half hour earlier in the evening.

– Other things you may want to try are having a medical check-up for hormonal changes, adrenal problems and other such conditions; try taking a supplement called melatonin, get regular massage, stress reduction therapy, and invest in your spiritual life.

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