12 Tips for a Better Night Sleep

1.   Limit nap time. Do not nap more than a half-hour during the day. If you do, it is a sign you are getting too little sleep at night and you will be unable to sleep properly when it is time to go to bed.

2.   Kick the caffeine. You've heard it before, but skip that cup of coffee if you're drinking it six to eight hours before bedtime. That goes for Diet Coke or even that cup of caffeinated tea.

3.   Avoid alcohol. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least two hours of going to sleep. Alcohol in your system can throw off your REM cycle, causing you to wake up more often in the early morning hours.

4.   Light-Night Snack. Have a late-night snack, but nothing too sweet or too heavy. Opt for a glass of milk, a banana or a handful of almonds to help you drift off.

5.   Get moving. Regular exercise may help you sleep, but avoid strenuous activity two hours before bedtime. Adrenaline can keep you awake at night.

6.   Spend the day outdoors. Exposure to sunlight promotes the creation of vitamin E, which helps you sleep. Plus, outdoor activity may make you more tired.

7.   Establish a regular bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every night & wake up at the same time every morning. This will help regulate your internal clock and can help improve the quality of your sleep.

8.   Keep your room cool. The optimal room temperature to fall asleep in is between 54 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

9.   Check your mattress. If your mattress is over eight years old, you wake up with aches and pains every morning or you wake up feeling just as tired as or more tired than when you went to bed it might be time for a new mattress.

10.  Pick the right pillow. The type of pillow you use should directly correlate to your sleeping position. To avoid neck pain, your pillow should help keep your neck and spine in their natural alignment while you sleep.

11.  Don’t worry. Keep a pen and paper beside your bed. Before you turn out the light, write down your worries and suggest some possible solutions to problems. This can help you relax and unwind before you fall asleep.

12.  Talk to your doctor. If you try these tips and you’re still having trouble falling asleep talk to your doctor to target the problem and explore possible solutions.

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