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Keep your brain happy and get a better night's sleep

IMPORTANT: Good sleep is vital for having a healthy mind and allowing you to enjoy life more.

IF YOU WAKE up feeling as though you never had a wink of sleep, you need help. Learning how to get better sleep can make you sleep peacefully through the night and awaken refreshed. It’s simply a matter of good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene is the term for good sleep habits. Simply by changing your habits, you’ll often sleep better and awaken refreshed.

The first step in learning how to get better sleep is a schedule. Your body has its own clock and you need to set the alarms. Most people awaken at a specific time because their place of work highly encourages
promptness. However, they often fail to have a specific bedtime. Even retired people need to keep to a schedule. Erratic sleep schedules often lead to sleep disturbance and more stress in your daily life.

If you take a nap because you stayed up too late the night before, you may actually be doing more harm than good.
Napping may be beneficial on a routine basis, providing it doesn’t interfere with that night’s sleep. Staying up late and then napping to recoup lost sleep plays havoc when you want to learn how to get better sleep.

What you eat and drink before you go to bed also makes a difference in the quality of the sleep you get. Even though alcohol may make you a little drowsy, it’s not a good idea to drink it four to six hours before you go to bed. The drowsy feeling is deceptive. You may go to sleep immediately, but it disturbs the natural balance of the type of sleep necessary to feel rested, the sleep architecture.

Alcohol-induced sleep changes the pattern of brain waves during sleep. In order to wake up feeling refreshed, there is a need to balance the REM (rapid eye movement or dreaming) sleep and the non REM sleep, the deep sleep. No matter how much sleep you get with alcohol, you won’t wake up feeling refreshed. In order to sleep better, simply avoid it after supper or drink only a small drink, such a little glass of wine.

Avoiding any drink with caffeine is another helpful idea on the list of how to sleep better. Caffeine is a well-known
stimulant. Even though that cup of hot cocoa might sound enticing, chocolate also contains caffeine. Of course, everyone recognises the main culprit, coffee, as a deterrent to sleep, but tea and many types of soft drinks contain it as well. Liquids right before bedtime can also make you wake up for bathroom trips.

The secret to how to sleep better may also be in the foods you eat and when you eat them. Spicy foods, heavy foods
or those with high sugar content can keep you up at night or disrupt your sleep pattern. However, a light snack before
bedtime might be just what you need. Bananas and other foods that contain tryptophan as your evening snack provide
you with a natural relaxant. The body metabolises the tryptophan and changes it to serotonin, a neurotransmitter.
The serotonin has a natural calming effect in the brain, which will help you enjoy a better sleep.

Getting plenty of exercise during the day is also on the list of how to get better sleep. However, with exercise, as with
food, timing is everything. Exercising in the afternoon makes you sleep at night. Exercising right before bedtime invigorates you and keeps you awake, so be wary of when you are exercising. If it is possible to change your regime, then do so.

Keeping your sleeping environment conducive to sleep is another key to help you get better sleep. A television running through the night disrupts your sleep and keeps you engaged. A room too hot or cold can often prove another disrupting factor. Most of all, allowing the worries of the day through the bedroom door can be the worst sleep disruption.

You won’t be able to solve your problems without a good night’s sleep. Who knows – maybe you’ll dream the answer
if you just simply sleep on it.

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