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5 Ways To Sleep Better   
 
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06-Mar-2010  
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There is not much that will ruin your day more than not getting a good night's sleep the night before. Sleep is not a luxury--it is a necessity. A lack of sleep will affect your ability to focus and your ability to concentrate. A lack of sleep will also have an adverse effect on your performance. You will not do your best job if you are running on little or no sleep.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as "catching up" on sleep. Once you have lost sleep, it is gone forever. Extended periods of sleep deprivation will eventually affect your health. The concept of beauty sleep, however, is not a myth. Getting sufficient sleep each night is one of the best (and most inexpensive) beauty aids on the market.

Last, but not least, a lack of sleep will make you cranky and irritable. So, do yourself and those around you a favor, and get a good night's sleep.

If you are having difficulty sleeping, here are five tips to help you sleep better:

1. PREPARE YOUR SLEEP SPACE.

Take a good look around at the space in which you are sleeping. Is it conducive to sleep? Make sure you have a firm, comfortable mattress, good pillows, and clean, comfortable sheets. Use the right amount of blankets--if you have too few blankets, you will be cold at night and will not fall into a deep sleep. If you have too many blankets, you will overheat and have the same problem sleeping well.

Make sure there is not too much light coming into the room. If necessary, purchase dark curtains or window shades that will completely block outside light coming in from streetlights or the early morning sun.

Get rid of other sleep distractions as well. For example, if you have a digital clock with a bright, glowing LED display readout, you might consider getting an old-fashioned clock. Find a clock that does not tick loudly, that does not glow in the dark, and that does not brightly display the time so that you find yourself checking it repeatedly throughout the night.

Make sure also that noise is not an issue in your sleep space. If street traffic or other outside noise is a problem, you may have to consider options to eliminate or reduce outside noise from coming into your sleep space. Another possible solution is to block outside noise with a white noise sleep machine that plays relaxing sounds, such as waves crashing onto the shore or crickets chirping. You might also consider relocating your sleep space to another room in the house, further from noise sources.

2. TURN IT OFF.

Stress and an inability to shut down is often a factor in causing sleepless nights. If you are having trouble sleeping, it is particularly important that you turn it off well before bedtime.

This means stopping work several hours before bedtime, so that your brain can wind down and begin to shift gears from the pace of working at break-neck speed to relaxation. In addition to turning your brain off for the night, turn other things off as well.

Well before retiring for the evening, you might consider turning off the telephone ringer, so that your relaxation time is not interrupted. Turn off your pager, your cell phone and anything else that might be a nuisance or an interruption of your evening. Turn down the lights, shift gears and begin to relax a little. Watch a little television. Or, consider turning off the television and reading a book instead. If you have a relaxing hobby, such as knitting or crochet, enjoy that activity for a little while each evening. If you do not have such a hobby, consider finding one.

3. GET INTO A SLEEP ROUTINE.

Parents know that the best way to get a youngster to go to bed and fall asleep easily at night is to establish a routine. The ritual of taking a warm bath before bed, getting into pajamas, snuggling up together, and reading a bedtime story helps to signal to the child's brain that it is time to go to sleep and prepares the child for sleep.
As adults, we often overlook this simple aid to better sleep.

Create your own bedtime ritual to help signal to your brain that it is time to prepare for sleep. Schedule a reasonable bedtime. Then, thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime, begin your sleep ritual.

Your ritual might include taking a warm bath, slipping into your pajamas, sipping a cup of herbal tea (non-caffeinated), and reading for thirty minutes or so. If your brain begins to get the message that, at 9:30 p.m. each evening, you start to prepare for sleep, and then at 10:00 p.m., it is time for bed, it will soon begin to cooperate with you.

4. THINK PLEASANT THOUGHTS.

The idea of counting sheep may seem silly and archaic, but it really works. The whole idea behind counting sheep is to get your mind to stop spinning in circles and to focus on something very boring and repetitive, such as picturing sheep gracefully and peacefully jumping over a fence, one after another.

You do not have to count sheep to put this theory to work for you, however. The main idea is to stop all of the millions of little thoughts that are running through your mind, causing you stress and preventing you from sleeping at night.

Make a rule for yourself that, once you are in bed, you will think about only one thing. It may be sheep jumping over a fence. It may be remembering that relaxing afternoon you spent lounging poolside in the warm sun on your last Mexican Riviera cruise. It may be daydreaming about your fantasy vacation, something simple and relaxing, such as laying on a beach in the Caribbean, or strolling down the Champs D'Elysees in Paris during springtime.

Whatever you choose, make sure that it is something that relaxes you, rather than something that stresses you. Do not, for example, choose as your one thing to think about something work-related, such as a project you need to complete. Do not choose as your one thing to think about a to-do list of things you want to finish around the house tomorrow. Once you have decided on a topic for the night, stick to it. Any time your mind begins to stray to other topics, pull your mind back to center and focus again on the relaxing image you selected.

5. Try a natural sleep aid. Narcotic and over-the-counter sleep aids may be okay on occasion, for rare, one-time sleep difficulties.

However, in the long run, those products can cause more harm than good. They can be habit-forming, and once you start taking them, you may soon find that you cannot sleep without them. Also, for sufferers of chronic insomnia, those kinds of remedies are simply putting a bandage over the problem, rather than getting to the root of what is disturbing your ability to sleep.

While you are in the process of revamping your sleep routine and finding ways to induce sleep naturally, you might wish to try other, more healthy, and non-habit-forming methods of sleep inducement.

Try, for example, sipping herbal tea before bedtime, such as chamomile tea or anything relaxing and non-caffeinated. Taking a combination supplement containing calcium, magnesium and zinc just before you crawl into bed will not only help you to fall asleep, it will also induce better REM sleep and help you to stay asleep through the night.

Consider also the white noise sleep machine mentioned above. You might find it easier to fall into a deep slumber while listening to the sounds of the ocean, birds chirping, or frogs croaking and crickets chirping around an otherwise quiet, nighttime pond.

In most cases, sleep problems originate in the brain. Solving sleep problems can often be a matter of reconditioning our brains for sleep and relaxation. However, if you try these solutions and still have trouble sleeping over a period of time, be sure to see your family physician to rule out physiological reasons that may be preventing you from getting a good night's sleep.
 



Why Feeling Sleepy At Work

If you are feeling sleepy during the day, at your work, it means that you are not getting enough sleep at night. Our body requires some amount of sleep every day and when you are not able to sleep at night, the body feels fatigued and sleepy throughout the day. This can interfere with your concentration and can reduce your efficiency.

Sleep is very important for maintaining the body’s normal day to day functioning. The body is in a complete state of rest only when you are sleeping. Sleep is essential also because when fatigue sets into the body, not only the bodily functions, but also the cognitive skills of the mind can get impaired. Sleep has a significant role to play in the development of the brain.

A healthy body needs at least six hours of undisturbed sleep everyday. People who receive less than six hours of sleep are at a higher risk of contracting life threatening diseases.

A huge number of accidents take place on the road because of a lack of sleep. A sleepy person is not able to concentrate on the task at hand and ends up hurting others or getting hurt. A constant lack of sleep can have different effects on the mind. It has been found that the brain’s ability to function diminishes because of lack of sleep. Alertness and memory are both impaired when a person loses sleep for several days. In children, lack of sleep can affect growth and in adults, it can affect the hormonal balance.

Sleep always comes in cycles so it is best that you try to find your particular sleep cycle. If you are feeling sleepy, it means that your body is prepared to sleep now. Pushing it past is not a great idea. Once you push away the sleep, you will not be able to sleep at a later time. Creating a regular sleep routine can help overcome this problem. Make a schedule for yourself and set a time when you will shut off everything and go to sleep.
 
 
 

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