Having trouble getting good sleep?

Do you wake up tired feeling like you had a terrible nights sleep or have trouble getting or staying asleep at night. Poor sleep and insomnia are common among many people that can greatly affect their mood, motivation and ability to perform during the day. Tiredness can also contribute to headaches and leave us feeling less motivated to exercise and move our body.

The following tips may help to improve your ability to get to and maintain a healthy 8 hours sleep at night so that you can function well the next day.

  • Maintain a regular daily schedule.
    • keeping routine with when you eat, exercise, go to bed and wake up in the morning can really help your body know when it’s time to wind down and relax ready to go to sleep. Shift work constant change in bed time or get up time can make it more difficult for some people to easily fall into restful sleep.
  • Reduce or time your caffeine intake.
    • Essentially caffeine is a stimulant and can block the action of a natural brain chemical that is associated with causing drowsiness and slowing down of neural activity that naturally induces sleep. This is often very handy when you need a “kick” to ward off tiredness or drowsiness but obviously is not helpful when you want to sleep. Using caffeine during the day because you are tired from sleeping poorly can become a viscous cycle in sleep problems and tiredness. Caffeine can be found in is found in coffee, tea, cocoa, cola soft drinks and energy drinks, chocolate bars, energy bars and some medications, like cough syrup and weight loss tablets. The effects of caffeine can last for up to between 8-14hrs
  • Turn off computer and TV screens
    • Our normal body clock is affected by artificial light. Short wavelength blue light which is most commonly used on back lit devices like phones, laptops and ipads is the most disruptive. Because of the exposure the body does not produce as much melatonin which is the hormone that is usually produced in us as it gets dark and helps to naturally cause sleepiness.
  • Don’t go to bed on a really full stomach.
    • bloating or irritation of a full stomach can make it had for you to relax into restful sleep
  • Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.
    • hunger can also leave you restless
  • Engage in regular exercise.
    • Studies that have been performed suggest that exercise significantly improves the sleep of people with chronic insomnia. Also noting if morning or afternoon exercise has an affect
  • Limit fluid consumption before bed.
    • waking in the night to go to the bathroom can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult for some people to fall back asleep again.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
    • a dark environment promotes natural metatonin release which can naturally help induce sleep
  • Invest in a good bed and pillows etc.
    • Comfort is an important factor. Neck pain, back pain, headaches or other aches from ill supporting pillows, or mattress can make it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep for a good length of time as can being too hot or too cold.
  • Get in tune with your internal alarm clock – Try to go to sleep and wake by it.
    • If you are naturally tired early and are an early riser maybe don’t fight it and try staying up late in the evening to watch tv or to do things. When you’re in a good sleep routine and achieving quality sleep you often find your body will tire and wake and predictable times

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