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7 Tips to Improve Sleep

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7 Tips to Improve Sleep

By Carrie Demers, M.D., Yoga+

Our bodies are designed for sleep to come effortlessly. When it doesn’t, when we’re holding on to the day’s stresses and reaching out for tomorrow’s too, there are a number of ways of inducing the body and mind to let go and slip gently into a restful sleep.

Create an Environment that Will Help You Sleep

Your bedroom should be tranquil and inviting. Make it comfortable and conducive to sleep. Eliminate ambient light and any noise that could disturb your sleep. If possible, reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex. Conduct other activities—reading work-related material, watching TV, paying bills, and disciplining your children—in another room. In time, this will create the expectation in your body that the bedroom is where it goes to relax and rest.

End the Day with a Calming Routine

Go to bed about the same time every night. Create a routine that prepares you for sleep. You may already have some kind of program you follow before you go to bed—locking the house, brushing your teeth, maybe reading a little. A pre-bed routine is a way of telling your unconscious that it’s time to sleep.

Make sure that this routine is relaxing, not stimulating—winding down before bedtime increases the likelihood that your mind will let you rest. If you find the news disturbing, skip the late broadcast. If you live in a safe neighborhood, take a leisurely stroll. Read something pleasant and soothing—save the suspense novel for earlier in the day. Take a hot bath. Sit for a period of meditation. The trick is to calm your mind and quiet your nerves before you get into bed.

And speaking of routines, getting up at the same time every morning will make it easier to fall asleep at night. Attempting to compensate for a night of disturbed sleep by staying in bed longer in the morning will simply further disrupt your sleep cycle. Get up on time, even if you don’t feel like you’ve had enough rest—you’ll have a much better chance of falling asleep easily when bedtime rolls around again.

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Megan, selected from Yoga+ Magazine

Yoga International is an award-winning, independent magazine that contemplates the deeper dimensions of spiritual life--exploring the power of yoga practice and philosophy to not only transform our bodies and minds, but inspire meaningful engagement in our society, environment, and the global community.

95 comments

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12:30AM PDT on May 27, 2013

I like, "End the day with a calming routine".

2:44PM PDT on May 8, 2013

noted

4:46AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

Thank you :)

1:19AM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

thanks

2:11PM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Dobrze powiedzieć, nie panikuj, ale trudniej wykonać. Cierpię na przewlekły ból, fibromialgię i RZS, a co za tym idzie - bezsenność.

3:14AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Try vegan melatonin, it replaces lost melatonin and helps you sleep naturally.

3:13AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Very useful article, will share. Thanks.

8:26AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

2:52AM PST on Jan 25, 2011

i can sleep better if the air is cool'''';;; thanks for the article!!!

7:12PM PDT on Sep 10, 2010

Insomnia and I were good friends until I went to med school, and since then, sheer exhaustion helps me sleep quite well! Of course, I still get nights where I can be too tired to sleep (which really sucks)...I've found that reading a few pages of a book in bed really helps me wind down when my brain is going at a million miles an hour :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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