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Are You Sleeping Wrong?

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 60 / LIFE October 17, 2012

As you know, getting eight hours of sleep every night is impossible. There’s work to do. Movies to watch. Books to read. And Facebook doesn’t check itself. So, what’s a sleep-strapped soul to do? Here are a few tips on maximizing whatever sleep you do get for optimum restfulness.

Get into a routine.

Find a bedtime and stick to it. Disciplining yourself to set hours of work and rest will train your body when to shut down.

Turn off the screen.

Studies show that flickering screens, like TVs and computers, actually stimulate your mind. Don’t let a screen be the last thing you see before bed.

No midnight snacks.

Eating builds up the acid in your stomach. Drinking means more trips to the bathroom. Give yourself a couple hours between meals and bedtime so your body has time to settle itself down.

Exercise early.

Daily exercise is great for getting a good night’s sleep. Nightly exercise? Not so much. Your body cruises on endorphins for a few hours after you work out, which makes it harder to get to sleep. Schedule your workouts earlier in the day and you’ll be out like a light come bedtime.

Stop worrying.

Nothing ruins a good night’s sleep like stress. Before you hit the hay, take a few minutes to chill out. Take a shower. Read a book. Pray. Put your mind at ease. Whatever you’re worrying about isn’t going to get fixed at midnight.