Hi everyone, I’m so glad May is over it was so hectic that my family and friends almost disowned me. Most of the time I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and my only saving grace was that I made up my mind, back in January, that I’m getting a full eight hours of sleep every night no matter what. (Yes, that's right my pillow always greeted me warm
Did you know that millions of people aren’t getting enough sleep or suffer from sleep problems? Research shows that all mammals need sleep, and that sleep regulates mood and is related to learning and memory functions. Not only will getting your rest help you perform on a test, learn a new skill, or help you stay on task, but it may also be a critical factor in your health, weight and energy level.
Are you someone who needs a fresh cup of coffee to coax you out of bed in the morning? Or perhaps you prefer an afternoon jolt from your favorite soda? Or maybe you’re more the candy bar type – in any case, you’re not alone. In a 24/7 culture, cups of coffee, cans of soda and candy bars are staples of everyday consumers. For some, the day can’t begin without a cup of Starbucks and for many students today no study break is complete without a can of Coke.
Lack of sleep creates a vicious cycle – the more tired you are, the more caffeine you’ll consume to stay awake during the day; but the more caffeine you consume, the harder it’ll be to fall asleep at night. Not only are foods and drinks high in caffeine likely to keep you up at night, but they’re also usually replete with sugar or artificial sugar and not much else. When a healthy snack such as a carrot or granola bar is replaced with a can of Red Bull, you’re at higher risk for putting on weight and it becomes harder to sustain energy for a longer period of time. If you’re having a problem with daytime sleepiness, you should spend a minimum of eight hours in bed, if you’re have difficulty sleeping at night, you should limit yourself to 7 hours in bed in order to keep the sleep pattern consolidated. You can also do the following practices:
* Avoid napping during the day; it can disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness.
* Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime.
* Exercise can promote good sleep. Vigorous exercise should be taken in the morning or late afternoon. A relaxing exercise, like yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night's sleep.
* Food can be disruptive right before sleep; stay away from large meals close to bedtime.
* Ensure adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
* Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don't dwell on, or bring your problems to bed.
* Associate your bed with sleep. It's not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read.
* Make sure that the sleep environment is pleasant and relaxing. The bed should be comfortable, the room should not be too hot or cold, or too bright.
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