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10 steps to a good night's sleep

Step

  1. Don't indulge in daytime naps - that may interfere with your night-time sleep.

 

  1. Avoid alcohol and tobacco at least 3 hours before bedtime. If this doesn't work, then extend the time.

 

  1. Try and get your last meal eaten at least 3 hours before you go to sleep. This is to ensure that the digestion of food process doesn't keep you awake. Ideally you should try to get your evening meal eaten by 7pm. If this is not convenient, then eat a larger meal for lunch and only have a light snack in the evening.

 

  1. If you are a light sleeper, then only go to bed when you are really tired or sleepy. Spending less time in bed produces a more restful and deeper sleep.

 

  1. When exercising in the evenings, attempt to complete your workout at least 2 hours before going to bed. Regular exercise should guarantee a good night's sleep, but timing does play a role.

 

  1. Establish a calming bedtime ritual. Soaking in a warm bath with a few drops of lavender oil or meditating before going to bed helps calm and relax one.

 

  1. Ensure that your bedroom is as dark as you can make it and the bed comfortable. If you cannot block out all the light easily, then invest in a sleep mask to make it as dark as possible. Having a clutter free bedroom adds to the equation.

 

  1. Remove all electronic devices including TV's or cellphones before going to bed or shut them off before sleeping. if you cannot shut them off, then where possible place them into airplane mode.It's a good idea if you have wireless WiFi devices in the home to also switch them off when going to sleep. This does definitely impact the quality of sleep that you will be getting.

 

  1. Use your bedroom as far as possible only for sleeping. Set aside another time and place for thinking and planning. Make it a haven of peace and relaxation.

 

  1. If your bedroom is noisy, play a "white noise" cd or New age music very softly to block out the noise.

 

If all else fails try this relaxation technique when going to bed

  • Lie on your back and shut your eyes
  • Breathe in and clench your toes down towards the soles of your feet. Hold for a count of 10, release and exhale.
  • Repeat the same "breathe in -clench-hold-release-exhale" sequence for each major muscle group in your body working up from your feet, to your buttocks, shoulders and finally to your chest and neck.
  • Lastly, smile as widely as you can, hold, release and relax. Stretch — and go to sleep.
  • ( courtesy of Reader's Digest)

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