Thursday, December 5, 2013

7 Secrets To Better Sleep!

If you spend your nights tossing and turning, or it takes you hours to fall asleep - set yourself up for sweet dreams with our 7 Secrets to Better Sleep!
Secret #1: Move That Body - A good workout that gets your heart pumping and muscles flexing works wonders on promoting sleep. Regular physical activity makes it easier for you to get to sleep and improves the quality of your sleep. For maximum benefit, avoid rigorous activity three to four hours before bed. Body temperature rises when you exercise, which can make it hard for you to get to sleep.
Secret #2: Get Some Sun - Sunlight is a strong stimulus, so getting sun exposure promotes energy during the day and can help you sleep at night. Darkness, on the other hand, triggers our brains to produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleepiness.
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Secret #3: Lose a Few Pounds - No doubt about it - sleep affects weight and vice versa. Studies have found that people who regularly sleep less than six hours have higher body mass indexes (BMIs). When you don't get enough sleep, you're too tired to exercise. Without enough sleep, you'll be grabbing baked goods with a vengeance and packing on the pounds.
But if you're heavy, it becomes harder to get a good night's sleep. It's a chicken-and-egg thing in terms of not knowing what came first - less sleep leading to weight gain, or becoming overweight and then getting less sleep.
Breaking the pattern isn't easy. Start by trying to ditch just five percent to 10 percent of your body weight, which is all it takes to begin shrinking fat stores, especially the kind that's concentrated in your belly. Belly fat is associated with snoring, which can lead to a lousy nights sleep. Even small changes like eating 100 fewer calories or taking a short walk every day can help.
Secret #4: Create a Sanctuary - Think of your bedroom as your private retreat where you go every night to be renewed. Here's how to turn it into the ideal environment for sleep:
Look for a mattress and a pillow that are comfortable. Preferences for bedding vary widely, so be sure to test out a mattress for a good 15 minutes before you buy.
Set the thermostat on the cool side. Body temperature naturally falls at night. By keeping the room cool, your body will mimic its surroundings.
Darken the room with shades and curtains to keep out light, or even use an eye mask. Darkness helps stimulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleepiness.
Secret #5: Ditch the Electronics - Clear your bedroom of TVs, computers and any other electronics. These gadgets emit blue light, which like any light, can cause wakefulness at night and disrupt the body's natural inclination to sleep. Use your bedroom only for sleep (and sex), so you won't associate it with any other activity.
Secret #6: Don't Smoke - Lousy sleep is just one more reason you shouldn't light up. Smokers are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night's sleep than nonsmokers. The smokers also spent less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep. Smoking before bed pumps your body with nicotine, a stimulant that can keep you up at night. It also raises overall body temperature and elevates your heart rate and metabolism - all of which will keep you awake. To make matters worse, smokers go through withdrawal when they're asleep, which disrupts their sleep too.
Secret #7: Stick With a Routine - It doesn't matter whether you soak in the tub, read a good book or listen to your favorite music, the key is doing the same thing every night, so your body gets the signal that you're prepping for sleep.
And okay, we know you want to sleep in on the weekends and make up for the slumber lost during the week. But it's not a good idea. Get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends. Sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays will only make it hard for you to get to sleep on Sunday night, and you'll feel less refreshed on Monday.
7 Secrets To Better Sleep!


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