Relax and improve the quality of your sleep

In addition to continuing your healthy diet and exercise habits, think about your quality of sleep.

If you get fewer than six hours of sleep per night, you can start by increasing that period of time to at least seven hours. This is the bare minimum if you want to have normal, healthy levels of fluctuating hormones in your body.

To ensure that you`re doing all that you can to maximize high quality, restful sleep, below are some tips to getting you a good night of sleep:

  1. Maintain regular sleep habits: Experts in sleep medicine like to call this β€œsleep hygiene” the ways in which we ensure refreshing sleep night after night. Go to bed and get up at roughly the same time seven days a week, 365 days a year or as much as you can. Keep your bedtime routine consistent; it might include downtime, teeth brushing, a warm bath, herbal tea, whatever you need to do to wind down and signal to your body that it`s time for sleep. We do this with our young children but often forget about our own bedtime rituals. They work wonders in helping us to feel primed for slumber.
  2. Identify and manage ingredients hostile to sleep: These can be any number of things, from prescription medicine to caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Both caffeine and nicotine are stimulants. Anyone who still smokes should adopt a plan to quit, for smoking alone will increase your risk of everything under the medical sun. As for the caffeine, try to avoid it after two pm. This will give your body time to process the caffeine so it doesn`t impact sleep. Some people, however, are extra sensitive to caffeine, so you may want to back up this time to noon or move to less caffeinated drinks. Be aware that lots of over the counter medications can contain sleep disrupting ingredients, too. Popular headache groups, for instance, can contain caffeine. Alcohol, while creating a sedative effect immediately upon consumption, can disrupt sleep while it`s being processed by the body; one of the enzymes used to break down alcohol has stimulating effects. Alcohol also causes the release of adrenaline and disrupts the production of serotonin, an important brain chemical that initiates sleep.
  3. Time your dinner appropriately. No one likes to go to bed on a full or empty stomach. Find your sweet spot, leaving approximately three hours between dinner and bedtime. Also be aware of ingredients in foods that can be problematic to digest easily before bed going to bed. Everyone will be different in this department.
  4. Set the setting It should come as no surprise that keeping brain and eye eletronic stimulants in the bedroom is a bad idea. But people still break this most basic rule. Try to keep your bedroom a quiet, peaceful sanctuary free of rousing hardware (eg TVs, computers, phones, etc) as well as bright lights and clutter. Invest in a comfortable bed and plush sheets, make your “to do list” for the next day, relax, read a book, drink a nice and warm herbal tea, empty your mind, meditate and have a lovely night of sleep.

Adopt those better habits and improve the quality of your life as well as weight loss and energy levels.

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