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How to Win the Sleep Battle for Good

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us depend on a good night’s sleep to keep us running the next day. Some of us stretch it out, skating by with five or six hours of sleep and hoping to catch up on the weekends. Researchers tell us we should get 7-9 hours every night.

Sometimes I sleep well. Other nights I stay up too late, or wake up in the middle night, and lose a few of those valuable hours. If you can relate, you may want to see what HarvardHealth is suggesting to get a good night’s rest.

Keep your bedroom for sleep or intimacy - Move the treadmill, sewing machine and other furniture out.

Make the bedroom a sleep haven - Low lighting, soft colors and blackout drapes all help.

Move electronics out - Kick out the TV, laptops and phones if possible. The blue light from small electronic devices can interrupt sleep, and all of the issues of the day can keep you awake. Don’t take your work to bed with you.

Have a comfortable mattress and pillow - Choose the right support for the back, and make sure the pillow is soft enough to keep your head and neck even.

Exercise every day - That daily walk, bike ride or workout will tone your muscles, lift your spirits, and help you sleep better at night.

Start a sleep routine - Use music, a warm bath, sleep-inducing yoga poses or a book to wind down.

Clear the air - use air filters and plants to clean the air and provide a buffer for noise.

Have a small snack - Choose something light like string cheese and whole wheat crackers.

Avoid alcohol, smoking and heavy meals - Allow at least two hours before bedtime for big meals and other stimulants. Also avoid midnight refrigerator raids.

Resolve ongoing issues - Do the homework to solve financial, family or work problems that may be troubling you. You may not clear the deck, but knowing that you are working on the problem will help you sleep better.

Go to bed the same time every night - Try to keep the same hours on the weekend, too.

Cut out caffeine by mid-afternoon - Caffeine can stay in the system for as long as 12 hours to keep you awake.

If sleep issues persist, see your doctor to see if there are more issues. When you are very tired every day you are at risk for serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. You are also missing out on all of the pleasures of being alert, awake and involved the next day. Make the effort to get a good night’s rest and enjoy the results.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.

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