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Healthy Sleep Habits are Crucial to a Good Night's Sleep

Do you think you have healthy sleep habits? A high percentage of the population is not getting enough sleep, or they don’t feel rested after many hours of sleep, and people get several hours less sleep than they did only 50 years ago.

Paradoxically, when considering the immense effect sleep has on many aspects of a person’s health, there have never been more ongoing studies and updated advice on effects of bad diet, lack of physical activity, stress etc., but sleep habits are often ignored.

Most people think their sleep habits are at least OK, but you will be surprised to find out, just how many factors in your everyday life can have an effect on how restful your sleep is. Many scientists would agree that a sufficient amount of restorative sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise, and that years of constant lack of sleep can be almost as damaging to your health as smoking regularly.

Below you can find sleep tips and information on healthy sleep habits. Making sure that you get enough sleep is especially important if you are trying to lose weight, recover from a disease or illness, or just feel the need to improve your health. Following these tips may change your overall wellbeing and help you face everyday life with renewed energy. First of all you need to consider your bedroom:

  • Keep it cool

Many people have constant or occasional issues regulating their temperature at night. You are under the duvet and it is entirely too hot; you kick it off and wake up 5 minutes later, as your body temperature falls, and put it back on. This pattern often repeats itself a frustrating amount of times. Actually many people keep their home at a temperature that's just too high, especially the bedroom. 

healthy sleep habitsThe reason can be that the room is used for other purposes during the night or that the orientation of the room is facing the sun during the day. 

Heat can disturb sleep by making the body work extra hard to adjust to the conditions. One sleep tip is to keep a window open in your bedroom, and get cool, well-ventilated air throughout the night.

A sufficient amount of extra oxygen will help the body restore itself more efficiently during sleep. Oppositely, excessively low temperatures can of course also have a bad effect on the quality of your sleep. 

  • Avoid radiation

No, we're not having a laugh! Most people are not aware of this, but electromagnetic fields in your bedroom could actually be where the problem lies. The radiation sent out by these fields can disrupt the pineal gland, which hinders production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects. 

If you suspect electromagnetic fields from wiring, televisions, computers, and especially from electrically heated blankets, which can disturb your sleep, try to move any electrical equipment outside of the bedroom. This includes mobile phones and their chargers. If after a few nights it turns out you sleep better in an electronics-free room, you may want to reconsider how you use your bedroom and redecorate.

  • healthy sleep habitsMove the alarm

Although you might feel that you have a long way to go, it should actually be possible, with great sleep habits, to wake up at the same time every morning, without an alarm

If you have to use one, however, you should keep it at least 2 feet away from the bed, and at least so far that you cannot see it. Watching the clock ticking is not going to help you go to sleep; something most people can attest to. Try to get one of those alarms that mimic the sunrise and slowly fill your room with natural light.

  • Make it calm and comfortable

Overall you should make sure that your bedroom is free of noise and light, try only to use it for sleeping, bedtime reading and other calm evening activities. A good sleep tip is to invest in duvets, pillows and blankets of a good quality; after all you put them to good use for just about 1/3 of your life.

On Mental and Physical Wellbeing Before Bed
  •  Wear socks

The circulation in your feet is normally lower at night, especially if you smoke or have weight issues. If this is causing you to crank up the temperature in your room, then a sleep tip is to consider wearing socks to bed. Make sure that they are good quality and allow your feet to breathe. 

  • Eat and drink right 

Sugar really is a sinner when it comes to sleep. Candy and other sugary foods can provide an energy kick that keeps tiredness at bay during the day, by making your blood sugar spike. Unfortunately this effect is short lived and as soon as the blood sugar falls rapidly again, the feeling of wellbeing and renewed energy is replaced with lethargy and difficulties concentrating

healthy sleep habitsThis causes sugar cravings and the cycle repeats itself. Many people nowadays continue this pattern of eating sugary treats and snacks far into the evening, which disturbs the sleep. 

Although you may be able to fall asleep after eating or drinking sugar, your brain is overactive, your blood sugar unlevel, and you may find yourself waking up constantly. 

Ideally you should try to replace as much of the refined sugar in your diet with other healthy options. 

However, instead of eating candy at night why not try milk with honey and some fruit? Give your body time to get used to this.

  • Clear your mind

Think of at least one thing you are fond of and focus on it as you are trying to fall asleep. Sleep anxiety, i.e. to think about stressful and worrying things at night, is very common, and is much unhealthier than most people realize. 

Fortunately, you might find it easier than you think to change the direction of your mind. Force yourself to think positively, and it will soon become habit. Some people swear by relaxation techniques and meditation for creating a clean, ready to sleep state of mind before bed. There are several brain wave programs available, both for the iPad and in MP3 format that can help you to relax and sleep more soundly.

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