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Tips to Help You Sleep Better

By Stephen R. Farris

In a perfect life, we would all have 9 to 5 jobs, go to bed at 10 p.m., and get up at 6 a.m. with lots of energy each and every day -- all because we were able to sleep well at night. 

Unfortunately, the real world has something to say about that. The work clock never stops ticking, so therefore we have people that work day shifts, afternoon shifts, evening shifts, graveyard shifts, and swing (or rotating) shifts. Not everyone is on the same sleep schedule and it's not uncommon -- because of work and after work activities -- for our required amount of sleep to be less than it should be.

The ideal amount of restful sleep would be at least 8 hours, but according to studies, we can squeeze by with 7.

There are a few things you can do to help you rest better when it's time for you to go to sleep. Notice I didn't say sleep at night (insert laughing emoji here).

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone in your brain that tells you when it's time for bed. Sometimes you might need a little extra boost of melatonin. The good news is that it's available as a supplement and can usually be purchased off the shelf in the vitamin aisle of any drug store, supermarket, big box store, or online. It's one of the most popular sleep supplements, and -- according to studies -- taking as little as 2 mg can improve sleep quality and make you feel more energetic the next day.

Other Sleep Supplements

There are other sleep supplements available to try if you prefer not to take melatonin. These are natural supplements and include ginkgo biloba (a natural herb), glycine (an amino acid), valerian root, magnesium, L-theanine, and lavender -- known for its calming effects to help you relax.

No Alcohol

Drinking alcohol prior to going to bed can disrupt your sleep by acting negatively on your hormones. According to research, it increases your chances of developing sleep apnea, snoring, and can alter your body's melatonin production. Plain and simple, it's just not a good idea if you want to get a restful night's sleep.

A few other things to try could be to make your sleeping environment cooler; put away your smartphone, tablet, or laptop at least an hour before bedtime; avoid late night eating; or take a hot bath or shower before jumping into bed. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sugar Hill, Ga.

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