7 Healthy
Sleeping Habits

7 Healthy Sleeping Habits

A rianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, is not only one of my role models of strong, feminine leadership, she is also a strong advocate for sleeping your way to the top. Sleeping your way to success.

It occurred to me that getting a good night’s sleep is a frequently returning subject on seven2success.com. A good night’s rest helps you to maintain a positive attitude. Getting serious about sleep certainly is a healthy habit and success principles #263 says it all about sleep [including Arianna Huffington's great TEDTalk 'How to succeed? Get more sleep!' Certainly one to watch!]

Virtually everyone has experienced the negative effects of a bad night’s sleep at least once:
grogginess, crankiness, lack of focus and nasty feelings that hover over your body and mind the entire day. Getting too little sleep just isn’t any fun.

In fact sleep problems are fairly common: one in three people experience sleep difficulties, which include trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, early morning waking, sleeping too much, or restless or unsatisfying sleep. And women experience sleep problems twice as often as men.

If you ever experienced the effects of too little sleep, then it’s perhaps no surprise that the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation can be fairly devastating to your overall health.

Sleep is vital and having restful sleep helps your body to re-energize and heal itself while your mind wanders around dreamland. Getting a good night’s sleep can improve your mental well-being and help you to better manage your anxiety.

The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your sleep. Here they are: seven strategies to improve your sleep. Turn in a bit earlier than usual tonight!

Create a comfortable sleep environment.

If you want to have a good sleep, it helps to create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure that you have a supportive mattress and fresh, comfortable bedding. Ensure that your room is not too hot or cold, minimize noise, and block out light. Take work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, get rid of it. For example, if looking at a bedroom clock makes you anxious about how much time you have before you must get up, move the clock out of sight.

Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine

Avoid arousing activities before bedtime like working, paying bills, engaging in competitive games or family problem-solving. Do something to relax your body and mind before going to bed. Try taking a hot bath 90 minutes before you plan to go to bed, reading a book, a relaxation exercise, meditation, or listening to calming music. Having a bedtime routine cues your body that it’s time to sleep. So, establish a set routine that you follow every night.

Get physical

People who exercise tend to have more restful sleep. Exercising for at least 30 minutes three times a week can improve your sleep. So, get moving! Go for a walk or a run. The best time to exercise is in the late afternoon or early evening. Exercising in the morning is good for you, but won’t help with sleep. And exercising less than two hours before bedtime can actually interfere with sleep. I’ve got some advice for those looking for a reliable online pharmacy to buy Viagra. http://prescriptiondruginjury.com/viagra-sildenafil/ is the place where I’ve already become a regular customer. The pros of the website are quite numerous: low prices, fast and free delivery, quality drugs, a wide choice of Viagra generics, and top-notch customer support service.

Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule

Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a ‘circadian clock’ in our brain and the body’s need to balance both sleep time and wake time. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and can help with sleep at night. Keep in mind you want to squeeze in around 8 hours of sleep a night. If that means going to bed at 10, well, that means going to bed at 10. It is also important to keep a regular bedtime and wake-time, even on the weekends when there is the temptation to sleep-in.

Eat dinner earlier

Eating or drinking too much may make you less comfortable when settling down for bed. Avoid heavy or spicy foods which can lead to difficulty falling asleep and discomfort during the night. Any discomfort, however slight, will decrease your chances of a good night’s sleep. Also avoid sugary foods. The sugar rush can keep you awake [and is not great for your waistline, either].

Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking

Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are stimulants. Avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol and smoking at least four hours before bedtime. Caffeine products, such as coffee, tea, colas and chocolate, remain in the body on average from 3 to 5 hours. Although you may think that alcohol is a sedative it actually disrupts sleep, causing nighttime awakenings. Nicotine can cause difficulty falling asleep, problems waking in the morning, and may also cause nightmares. Difficulty sleeping is just one more reason to quit smoking. Let’s be real: smoking is sóóó 90′s!

Get out of bed

If you can’t fall asleep after 20 to 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something boring like reading the manual on how to program your clock radio. Or try relaxing by meditation, listening to calm music, or drinking a warm de-caffeinated drink. When you start to feel sleepy, go back to bed. This strategy can feel like you are making things worse, but staying in bed agonizing over falling asleep won’t help things. If you stick with this method, it can really help.

Start small! Making small changes can have a large impact on your sleep. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Instead, pick one or two strategies and try them consistently. When you’re ready, try adding a new strategy. The goal is to slowly start increasing behaviors that can help you sleep, while reducing the things that are interfering with your sleep.

Be consistent. Pick a strategy and use it consistently. Try to do the same thing every night.

And bepPatient. These strategies can take time to improve your sleep. In fact, sometimes things can get worse before they get better. Hang in there and stick with it!

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How about you?
Do you sleep like a baby or are you experiencing sleeping problems?
Maybe you have some tips or insights to share?
Please do and leave a comment below!
Thank you.

Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, guest blogger at TEDx, Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, by women, I want to inspire you with our content! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter! I’d love to connect! 
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