Tossing and turning. Clock watching. Drifting off to sleep then waking up? counting sheep? Thinking I need to sleep but thoughts are like the M25 on a Friday evening, - jammed packed with thought traffic.
We all know the body needs to sleep to rest, to rejuvenate, to tune up heal itself and to repair what needs repairing.
Lack of sleep impacts our thinking process, makes us tired, grumpy and irritated at times, it's very difficult to function when the body and the mind are both exhausted.
Good sleeping patterns are essential to our emotional and physical well-being and is often an overlooked factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 1 - Cut out caffeine
Caffeine is an enemy of sleep - it is not your friend! If you need coffee don't have it after 12. Caffeine dehydrates your body and increases anxiety and stress because of the rush of adrenaline in the body.
Do you know that caffeine still impacts your body up to 10 to 12 hours after you have consumed it?
The Art of Sleeping Tip 2 - Keep rehydrated
Ensure you drink enough water during the day, the recommended amount is between 1.5 and 2 litres a day (and that doesn't include coffee!). Being dehydrated can impact sleeping as it disrupts your body's natural rhythm, so you don't feel tired when you should. It also causes fatigue but not the type of tiredness to help you sleep.
Being dehydrated also decreases the melatonin in the body which is needed for sleep.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 3 - Ensure you have sufficient natural light during the day
Natural day light is essential to sleep as it increases melatonin in the body. Open curtains, go for a walk outside, and ensure your work space has sufficient natural light, perhaps angle your desk so that you are facing a window.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 4 - Stay away from lights at night
Lights at night decreases the levels of melatonin in the body. Lights from TV, even computers decreases the melatonin at night. Even the light from an iPad can suppress the melatonin.
Stop using your laptop, TV and iPads late at night. Read, listen to some relaxing music or do some relaxation exercises to help you prepare for sleep.
Change lights bulbs in your bedroom is it is a soft and gentle light.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 5 - The importance of healthy eating and exercise
A healthy balanced diet is essential to a healthy sleeping pattern. Don't eat a heavy meal late at night, especially meat as the body takes a while to digest it.
Bananas are good for helping sleep - but don't eat them too late at night.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 6 - Quit smoking
Many smokers think that smoking helps relax them. Wrong! Nicotine is a stimulant and disrupts the sleeping patterns.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 7 - Cut out alcohol
Alcohol reduces your quality of sleep. Although you may go to sleep quickly it also wakes you during the night. Don't drink alcohol a few hours before going to bed.
The Art of Sleeping Tip 8 - Try alternative safe methods
Perhaps experiment with soothing and calming background noise (sounds of nature or the ocean) which can be played when you go to be bed. These can be purchased inexpensively online. You can also try seeking the advice or counsel of an experienced and registered professional such as a sleep therapist or hypnotherapist.
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