The Importance of Sleep

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Do you understand the importance of sleep on your health? When you are facing a great deal of stress it is important to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Too many people live with the incorrect belief that they need to stay awake longer in order to get more done. Actually, when you are sleep deprived, you tend to get less accomplished than if you’ve had an adequate night’s sleep. So get plenty of zzzz’s. Also, sleep deprivation increased production of cortisol, the stress hormone. So it will be much more difficult to handle the stress that comes your way. If you are tired, but having problems with insomnia, there are a few things that you can try.

1. Avoid caffeine. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon or evening.

2. Avoid too much TV or computer time right before bed. This light decreases the body’s natural production of melatonin, which helps us to sleep.

3. Make sure that the temperature of your bedroom is comfortable. If it is too hot or too cold, it will be much more difficult to go to sleep.

4. Drink a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile is natural and has relaxing, anxiety reducing properties. It is also caffeine free.

5. Meditate. This is particularly good if you are having problems with racing thoughts. Simply clear your mind completely, and focus on one word while you deep breath.

6.  Use some essential oils such as lavender or chamomile. You can mix these with a good carrier oil like sweet almond or jojoba oil and rub some on your chest and the bottoms of your feet. Or sprinkle a few drops on a tissue and place on a night stand so that you can inhale the scent. Both of these scents are very relaxing and calming.

7. Avoid eating too close to bed. We eat to give our bodies energy, and often you will experience an energy burst after eating. Also, eating right before bed can cause problems for those who are prone to reflux or heartburn.

8. Make sure that your bedroom is dark. Light from street lights, or even from a digital clock can make getting to sleep more difficult. You can darken your room with special darkening curtains or even get a sleep mask.

9. Supplement for sleep. There are some great herbs, vitamins and minerals that actually can help with insomnia. Valerian, magnesium, melatonin and Kava are all good sleep aids. Make sure to get supplements that are organic and contain no unwanted fillers.

10. Get plenty of regular exercise. Exercise on it’s own is a great stress reducer, but those who exercise regularly, also sleep better.  Just don’t exercise within 2-3 hours of bedtime, since exercise also energizes you!

Try any of these things to improve your sleep which in turn will help to reduce your stress!!

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