From birth, we spend a third of our lives trying to sleep. (well, maybe not during August in Saratoga). A good` nights sleep is incredibly important for your health and overall wellness. In fact it is just as important as eating healthy and exercising regularly. Research tells us adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep, while teens need up to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Some of the amazing benifits of getting regular, good nights sleep include; improves memory, avoid depression, reduces inflammation, lose weight faster, lowers stress, improves learning and studies show you live longer.
Below are my favorite 11 tricks you can use to help get a better nights sleep:
- Avoid caffeine after lunch, and limit coffee/tea to 3 cups per day.
- Eat "sleepy" foods which contain protein and tryptophan; oatmeal and milk, yogurt and almonds, cottage cheese and banana slices, turkey, chicken, tuna and salmon.
- Avoid alcohol after 7:00 PM
- Keep cool before bed. Exercise early in evening, then allow your body at least 2 hours to cool down before bed.
- Try Deep-Breathing before sleep. Lay on your bed with knees bent, slowly breath in through your nose to count of 4, exhale the same. Perform 5-10 minutes.
- Avoid "blue light" from flat screen TV's and computers 1 hour before bed.
- Turn off your cell phone. Studies show it disrupts your sleep by 50%.
- Make your room cool. Swedish sleep studies show 66 degrees is best.
- Make your room dark.
- Make your room quite.
- Avoid sleeping in on weekends. This prevents jetlag-like symptoms on Monday. To make up for a late night, wake up at your usual time and take a mid-day nap. This pays off your sleep debt without disrupting your natural sleep-wake circadian rhythm.
Hope this helps! Matt Smith-Chiropractor