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7 Things affecting your sleep

We have all heard that 7 to 9 hours of sleep are recommended to keep our body functioning at its best. It seems we go through stages in our lives when this is not easy to achieve.

When life happens, we hit the hay a little later than wanted and the morning starts with a to-do list needing a head start.

Following is a list of 7 things that will help you get a peaceful and quality night's sleep.

1 Go to bed and wake at the same time each day

Your circadian rhythm aligns itself with sunrise and sunset

2 Reduce caffeine late in the afternoon

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system

Stops your body from relaxing

Stays in the body for 6-8 hours

No caffeine after 3-4 PM

3 Exercise regularly: but not too late in the day

Exercise causes the body to release endorphins

Endorphins reduce pain and boost pleasure

30 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to help with better sleep

4 Maintain a comfortable bedroom environment

  • Decorate the room in warm colors and choose bedding that makes you feel cozy

  • Reduce clutter to reduce stress

  • The optimal bedroom temp is said to be 65 degrees

    • To make your bedroom as dark as possible:

  • Use blackout curtains or shades

  • Bedside lamps should have a low and soft light

  • Reading before bed is recommended and doing so with a booklight is optimal

  • Nightlights in the bathroom are a great safety measure and shouldn’t interrupt your sleeping

5 Limit liquids before bed

  • Trips to the bathroom will interrupt sleep

  • Try drinking more throughout the day

  • Aim to drink ½ our body weight in ounces of water each day.

6 Turn off the TV and bright lights before heading to bed

Lights affect melatonin production and limit the amount of REM

Try reading, crosswords puzzles or meditation

Avoid or limit to 20 minutes or less if you have trouble sleeping at night.

Try experimenting with naps and see what works best for you

Natural sleep aids:

Earplugs are great for the light sleeper or whose loved one snores! My sweetie likes to watch the end of the football or basketball game while I am trying to sleep and these are amazing at canceling out the noise of the game.

Weighted blankets-according to Healthline, weighted blankets are therapeutic blankets that weigh between 5 to 30 pounds. The pressure from the extra weight mimics a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation.

Deep pressure stimulation uses hands-on pressure to relax the nervous system.

Doing so may help:

  • relieve pain

  • lessen anxiety

  • improve mood

Deep pressure stimulation doesn’t have to be completely hands-on.

With weighted blankets, the same pressure comes from having the blanket wrapped around the body.

Essential oils- I like to use Young Living essential oils.

My top three are: lavender, frankincense, and bergamot

A friend of mine suggested the following tips: apply the oil to my wrists, between each toe, and to the bottoms of my feet. Works every time!

Pillow spray-apply to pillows and blankets before heading to bed. There is a large variety and smell is a personal preference so experiment to find one you like. My favorite is eucalyptus! I love leaving a bottle in our guest bedrooms as well!

Apps-I personally have not used these, but if you choose to do so, refer to this list recommended by

Tea- There is a large variety of teas that are recommended to help us fall asleep. When possible, try to drink your tea one to two hours before bedtime to eliminate trips to the bathroom.

My favorite is sleepy-time. This is available at Walmart for under $4

It has a nice blend of spearmint, orange blossom, and chamomile flavors that taste and smell amazing!

We oftentimes forget how important sleep is until we are sleep-deprived.

A lack of sleep can lead to:

  • memory issues

  • mood changes

  • low sex drive

  • weight gain

  • poor balance

Aim for the recommended 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night to keep your health in check!

Until next time,

Take Care!

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