Suffering from mild insomnia? Making some simple changes to your lifestyle can help prepare your body and mind for sleep and greatly enhance the chance that you’ll get a great night of quality zzz’s!

As far as beauty and wellness are concerned, we hear it and read it all the time: «Make sure you get enough sleep every night (meaning 8-plus hours!) in order to maintain your physical and mental health». Personally, I have to admit that is very hard to reach this goal each and every night, although I know exactly what I have to do (including counting those sheep on the grass). Do I have stress? Yes, I do. Am I addicted to stress, seeking out the deadlines or my work emails? Certainly not!   It seems though that my lifestyle – and possibilities are yours too – doesn’t really help.
The benefits of a proper night’s sleep far extend the ability to function like a human being.
Firstly, our glymphatic system – a cleaning system for the brain, if you will – increases its function by 60-70% at night, ridding the brain of neurotoxins which build up throughout the day, just through thinking. Thus, studies have revealed that acquiring a better night’s sleep pattern diminishes the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Secondly, when we’re sleep-deprived, our levels of ghrelin and leptin – the hormones that regulate hunger – become out of sorts, and those lacking in sleep are less able to manage stress and stave off illnesses due to a compromised immune system, with susceptibility to the common cold increasing by four and a half times. With all this in mind, it’s about time that we put sleep back on our list of priorities, no?
Here are some easy-to-follow tips to get a better night’s sleep.

Unplug and disconnect from the work

The rule of thumb is to get your head out of work before you lie down to go to sleep. It will be difficult at first, but in order to de-stress first requires eliminating a major stress source: your phone. Set internal rules, such as no checking the phone at dinner, or no email for an entire weekend day. If that is too much, start with just 20 minutes at a time and build up from there.

Don't drink too much.

Limit all liquids within three hours of bedtime. Drinks equal liquid, and liquid at night means having to use the bathroom when you’re trying to sleep. Plus, alcohol might make you sleepy but the quality of your sleep is poorer overall since it impairs our ability to slip into REM sleep, leading to fragmented rest, especially towards the latter part of the night.

Reject that afternoon cup of coffee

Caffeine takes around six hours to leave your body, so it makes sense to limit yourself to a maximum of three caffeine-based products a day. Caffeine which is found in coffee, many teas, including some herbal varieties, some sodas, chocolate and even some medications, can cause you to have trouble falling asleep, but it also can cause more disrupted sleep throughout the night.

Exercise but not too late

Exercise releases a flood of endorphins that can replace the stress hormones. Working out within three hours of bedtime can be too stimulating for many people. Exercise wakes up the brain and also warms up the body, which can interfere with sleep. The best time to exercise to help you fall asleep is between four to six hours before bedtime. If that’s too difficult to do, consider exercising in the morning.


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