The mind and body will function best when it responds to a sleep schedule. One of the easiest ways to ruin sleep is by going to bed and waking up at different times during the week. This disturbs the natural sleep cycle and makes it difficult for the body and mind to know when to sleep. Going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time each day and night for as little as three weeks, can reset the cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at bedtime.
Being stressed and worrying about problems is another way people ruin their sleep. Dealing with problems as they happen is a good way to reduce stress. Talking to a trusted friend or loved one about problems can often put problems into perspective and enable a solution to be found. Having a notepad and pencil next to the bed is another effective way of dealing with issues that arise when trying to sleep. Making a note of worries and committing to dealing with them the following day, rather than at bedtime, is a good solution.
Exercising close to bedtime is another way to ruin sleep. The body needs to be physically tired to sleep, but exercising before bed can wake up the body and mind and make it difficult to fall asleep.
A heavy meal before bedtime is bound to ruin sleep. The body needs time to digest food before lying down, eating before bed can lead to a night of tossing and turning. A light snack before bed may be fine, but it’s best to enjoy larger meals earlier in the evening.
Many people who don’t sleep well turn to caffeine and sugar during the day to keep them awake. The problem with this is these substances can stay in the system for long periods of time and interfere with sleep. If a person is having trouble sleeping, these substances should be consumed earlier in the day or eliminated altogether. Alcohol can have the opposite effect and encourage sleep at bedtime. However, this is a temporary solution, as it contributes to unrest and early morning waking.
Eliminating these bad habits can encourage a good night’s sleep. However, if symptoms persist, a medical professional should be consulted.
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