6 Tried and True Tips for Sleep, Beautiful Sleep!
Though our 24/7 society may not place a high priority on sleep, adequate rest has never been more important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sleep problems are a national epidemic, with 30 percent of adults reporting that they get less than six hours of sleep on an average night. Insufficient sleep is linked to a myriad of health problems, like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. If you’re one of the millions of Americans having trouble getting enough sleep, here are some tips you can try.
Build Exercise into Your Daily Routine
Exercising too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. But getting some exercise earlier in the day has an opposite effect and will actually help you sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation reports that exercise is especially beneficial for people who have sleep disorders, with even a single session of aerobic activity reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep for people suffering from chronic insomnia and improving overall sleep quality. The good news is that it isn’t necessary to get intense, athlete-level exercise, either: the benefits were seen from moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.
Ditch the Late-Night Snack
After a long day, nothing seems quite as comforting as a dish of ice cream while watching the late show. But in addition to wreaking havoc on your waistline, it turns out that eating too close to bed can disturb your sleep, too. Your body has to work to digest whatever you eat. If you’re truly hungry, have a lighter and easier to digest snack instead, like a piece of fruit.
Nix the Nightcap
When it comes to sleep, alcohol is the great paradox. Because a drink can often take the edge off and make you feel more relaxed and sleepy, it seems logical that it would help you give you a better night’s sleep. While a review of 27 studies concluded that alcohol does indeed help users fall asleep more quickly, it results in poorer quality sleep, so you are less likely to feel well rested and refreshed in the morning. The negative effects are even more pronounced if you consume more than one drink.
Beware the Blue Glow
Most of us spend the majority of our day in front of electronic screens, whether it’s our computer at work or our smartphones. Our bosses often expect us to bring work home, and then there’s the ever-present lure of Facebook. Even seemingly harmless pastimes like watching TV can disrupt sleep. But sleep experts say that exposure to the blue glow of electronic screens before bed contribute to poor sleep, in part by blocking our body’s release of sleep-promoting melatonin. Turn off the electronics a couple hours before bed and read a book instead to promote healthy sleep.
Manage Your Stress
Stress is the biggest bugaboo of modern life. Between busy schedules, money worries and unsettling stories on the news, it’s no wonder that we find it difficult to relax. Not surprisingly, that high stress level also leads to difficulty sleeping and evening binge eating. Managing your stress has multiple benefits, though, and not just for sleep. Lower stress levels lead to lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system and decreased risk of diseases. Try relaxing habits like meditation, prayer, yoga or journaling.
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Improving your sleep habits does take a little bit of effort and self-discipline, but the rewards of a better night sleep will help you stay healthy and age-proof.
FIND YOUR LIMITLESS.
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