Do you struggle getting to sleep?  I mean how can something so easy, be so hard?  Really all it requires is for you to just lay there, dream, and breathe.  Then why is it so many people struggle getting to sleep?

Sleep is vital to keeping out bodies and mind healthy, yet is the most overlooked aspect of health.  Well put away those sleeping pills because today you are going to learn 8 tips to help you get a great night’s rest.

I am in the middle of getting my learn on at Housatonic Community College taking Dr. Toedt’s Anatomy and Physiology II class, where we are currently studying how awesome the brain is.

Today’s lesson was on sleep.

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Sleep is essential for the human body, yet many of us don’t get enough of it.  Our bodies need at least 8 hours of sleep (2 cycles of deep sleep) to get all it’s benefits.

Sleep does a lot more for us than making us less of a  grouch because we are cranky.

Sleep is the body’s opportunity to repair it’s tissue from the stress we place on it throughout the day (this is actually the strength building portion of our day, not the gym part).

Sleep also sorts through and stores vital memories in the brain from the previous day so we can learn new things.

Now that we see how important getting our ZZZZZZs are let’s focus ways we can improve the quality of our sleep.

Avoid caffeine before sleep time

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This one seems pretty obvious.  Caffeine is a stimulant that heightens our senses.

But did you know caffeine has a half life of 6 hours.  That means it will remain in your system and keep you up for 6 hours.  Make sure you have that last cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage 6 hours before you want to go to bed.

No electronic devices 1 hour before sleep

Just like caffeine, electronic devices act as a stimulate.  They specifically stimulate (and damage) our eyes and minds making it hard to calm down before bed.

No TV in bedroom

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This is one my girlfriend and I fight about all the time.

We just mentioned above how electronic devices stimulate us.  By taking the TV out of the bedroom we can actually train our mind that the bedroom is for two things

  1. Sleep
  2. Sex

Hot shower/Warm Milk

These two things have been shown to help relax the body.

Keep room at 68 degrees

Keeping the room from getting too hot/too cold can help the mind and body relax. Keeping the room at this comfortable temperature doesn’t overwork the body and brain dealing and reacting to the extreme temperatures.

Put a plant in the bedroom

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This was a great tip Dr. Toedt provided.  Putting a real plant in the bedroom will produce more oxygen.  When was more oxygen consumption a bad thing?

Block outside light and noise

Use shades, blind folds, ear plugs whatever to block out the things that may disturb you from getting sleep….well everything except that pesky alarm clock.

Read

Reading is a great activity to do before bed.  Not only do we get smarter, but it helps relax the mind, especially if you are reading a textbook for class

Dr. Toedt shared with us one more interesting fact that should make it even more enticing to follow these tips.  In a test involving drunk people driving and sleep deprived people driving (people who averaged 5 hours a night) the sleep deprived people were more dangerous.

Do you have any tricks that you use to help you get more sleep? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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