Are You Sandbagging Your Sleep?

Tips to help you snooze, not lose

For Your Health

Are You Sandbagging Your Sleep?

Tips to help you snooze, not lose

-Brittany Fenning

Early to bed and early to rise may make you healthy, wealthy and wise, but getting a good night’s sleep isn’t exactly child’s play.

While the hours of slumber Americans attain per night continues to plummet as the workdays grow longer, the lack of zzz’s can make any day at the office infinitely longer, and worse yet, more irritating. Mattresses and pillow companies have capitalized on Americans’ issues with sleep for decades, but the prime reason for not getting a good night’s sleep comes down to one factor: you!

Counting sheep may work for some people, but your daytime and pre-bed routines ultimately determine whether you will snooze or lose. While having the premier mattress and pillow set may ensure a comfy bed, it’s what takes place out of that bed that really matters.

A bedroom is a bedroom, is a bedroom …l eave it as that. The more activity that takes place in a bedroom, aside from sleep and sex, the less the body associates the bedroom as a place for rest and relaxation, according to Women’s Health. The best way to make the bedroom a tranquil haven involves the removal of one main thing – technology. You may like to sleep with your Blackberry, but let it crash on the sofa from now on. Inviting technology and work into the bedroom only uninvites sleep.

Sleeping as snug as a bug in a rug may have worked when you were 5, but it’s time to move on. Though being nice and toasty may seem to lull you to sleep, the body is actually better able to slip into the sleep cycle at a cooler temperature. WebMD recommends setting the thermostat between 65 and 72 degrees when it’s time to hit the sack.

What is it about a full stomach that practically pulls your eyelids shut? While eating right before bed may appear to be conducive to some solid sleep, late eaters often find themselves tossing and turning. According to MSN, the body isn’t designed to deal with heavy eating right before sleep. If you find yourself hungry right before bed, try to stick to protein and carbohydrates; milk and a banana are a perfect example of a fine pre-bedtime snack.

Running before bed will only leave your body running overtime while you’re trying to sleep. When working out, the body’s temperature raises, and it takes about three hours for the body’s temperature to decline enough for sleep, according to Discovery Health. While exercising on a daily basis will aid you in a better night’s rest, try to limit exercise to the late afternoon or early evening.

When the yawns start to come every few minutes, get to bed. We all do it, push through the tired patch to get that last part of work done, read a few more pages in a book and finish the last portion of a movie. While we may see it as getting what we want done before bed, the body becomes increasingly more awake as you push your body from fatigue, according to Medical News Today. When you do decide to crawl into bed when the task is done, the body is often so alert that sleep is the last thing the body is ready for, which can make tossing and turning inevitable.

So the next time you hit the sack and wait for slumber to find you, remember it’s up to you whether you will snooze or lose.

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