Want to Feel Better?

Get some sleep! Research shows that Americans are sleep starved! Here are four key ways you can power up your sleep.

  1. Turn off all the lights, the computer, the phone, the LEDs for whatever you small electronic you have. Put all your small electronics on one power strip and turn it off before bed. You will sleep better in darkness, and if you wake up, you will more easily fall back asleep.
  2. Set your schedule and try to head to bed by 10pm. The most restful amount of sleep, the deep REM sleep, occurs between 10pm and 2am. When you wake, you will feel more energetic and ready to face the day’s challenges. Your brain will be able to fire its neurons more easily resulting in easier decision making capabilities when you get the sleep you need.
  3. Exercise!! Early and often! When you exercise your muscles move, causing your lymphatic system to clear out all the excess waste in and around your tissues. When your body’s systems are flowing and clear, you are able to use your incoming ingredients to regenerate new tissue, and feed your blood and brain and heart more easily, supplying your body with all the essentials it needs to operate optimally. When you exercise, your body is working more so you sleep better!
  4. Watch your diet! Are you drinking coffee or diet soda all day? Caffeine will definitely impact your ability to sleep. Are you drinking alcohol into the night? Excess alcoholic beverages will cause you to wake up every few hours. Do you eat late in the evening? Your body will be hard at work digesting that late meal as you are trying to go to sleep. Fatty foods will also cause acid reflux which could disturb your sleep

If you think you are getting enough sleep, try keeping a sleeping log. Count the hours you are sleeping each night and write it down. By the end of the week, you should have 48 hours accounted for. No? (I didn’t.) Continue to keep the log, and you may be shocked at how many hours you are missing. (I was.) It may inspire you to get some more shut eye just so you can feel more positive and be more effective.

And watch your kids for sleep deprivation too! Kids who get at least eight hours of sleep a night do much better at school, are more eager to exercise, and eat a healthier diet.

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