5 ways to improve your sleep
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Feb 17, 2017  |  Vote 0    0

5 ways to improve your sleep

Stouffville Sun-Tribune

Humans spend about a third of their lifetime sleeping; it’s when the body recharges and rebuilds its immune system, nervous system, skeletal system and muscular system.

It’s one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but with increasingly busy lives, maintaining a proper sleep schedule can be challenging. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can contribute to depression, irritability, stress, anxiety, and obesity.

Here are five ways to make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

1. No screens before bedtime

While watching your favourite shows or catching up on social media might seem like a relaxing way to unwind at the end of a long day, it’s actually detrimental to your sleep. Artificial light from screens prevents the brain’s pineal gland from releasing natural melatonin before sleep. As a result, screen-users might find it difficult to fall asleep with light shining in their eyes just inches away. It’s best to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime.

2. Avoid stimulants

Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or a heavy dinner can all prevent a good night’s sleep. While caffeine and nicotine will keep your brain stimulated and alter its natural sleep cycle, alcohol and food can activate metabolic processes in your body that can disrupt your natural sleep rhythm.

3. Replace your mattress

It’s a good idea to replace your mattress every 8 to 12 years. Since you spend a third of your lifetime on it, it’s important to have a good, quality mattress to prevent muscle or joint pain and encourage a more comfortable sleep.

4. Light exercise

Nothing exhausts your body more naturally than exercise. Rigorous exercise will increase blood flow and boost your energy levels, but light exercise before bedtime can tire you enough to allow for a deep sleep.

5. Keep a routine

Your body loves routine and that includes a consistent sleep schedule. Your body’s circadian rhythm will adjust to a regular sleep schedule and you’ll naturally fall asleep at your consistent bedtime and naturally wake up.

Sources: Canadian Sleep Society, Better Sleep Council Canada (BSCC)

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