A Good Night's Sleep

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A Good Night's Sleep

A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in how you feel and function during the day.  Yet a third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. (https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html).

Below is a list of top 10 things that can be done to improve your sleep each night (from the book Happy Cells Healthy You). These are easy, small changes that can be made, which could have a significant impact on how well you sleep and how great you feel in the morning!

  1. Get out into the sunshine as soon as you can.  Exposure to natural light can reset your inner body clock and boosts your alertness and mood for the entire day.
  2. Cut the caffeine.  If you drink caffeine, drink beverages early in the day to minimize their negative effects on your sleep.
  3. Exercise.  The National Sleep Foundation reports that people who exercise regularly sleep better than those who sit on the couch!  But there is one caveat: be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime as this could affect your sleep.
  4. Nap smart.  If you nap, nap no longer than thirty minutes and get that cat nap in earlier rather than later in the day or you could risk interfering with your sleep.
  5. Turn off all your electronic devices.  Your smartphone, your computer, your tablet, your wide-screen TV, are constantly emitting high energy blue wavelengths. All that blue light exposure is interfering with your brain’s production of melatonin which is vital to your sleep.
  6. Keep your room dark.  A dark room will increase melatonin. If necessary, you can invest in blackout drapes or wear a soft eye mask which limits your exposure to light in your room.
  7. Eat light. Avoid ingesting a heavy meal just prior to bedtime. Your body is not made to be digesting food while you are sleeping.
  8. A warm soak or shower.  Your body, as it gets you ready for sleep, already experiences a drop in temperature. You can kick-start this by getting warm in the tub or shower.
  9. Use lavender essential oil. In a 2005 study in Chronobiology International, lavender was shown to increase the amount of slow wave (deep) sleep in both women and men, with all subjects reporting increased well-being in the morning, underscoring the restorative nature of slow wave sleep.
  10. Give in. Occasionally, you may just have one of those nights where no matter what you try, you just can’t get to sleep. Getting up, sitting in a comfortable chair and relaxing by listening to some calming music, reading under soft lights, or meditating until you feel sleepy is probably best.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports a recommended sleep of 9 to 12 hours per day for children 6 to 12 years of age and 8-10 hours a day for teenagers.  Children not getting enough sleep each night has been associated with injuries, obesity, and depression.  Many of the above recommendations can also help with children who are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

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  • Maday Labrador