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How to Get the Sleep You Need

By Rachel Carver

Do you spend time tossing and turning before you finally fall asleep? Do you tell yourself you're going to put the phone down and close your eyes only to be up at least an hour longer than you intended?

Taking some time to prepare yourself for sleep each night can help you get the rest you need. Research links better sleep to improved memory, learning, and mood. Studies also show quality sleep can help with blood sugar control and weight management.

Read on for some things to do in the hour before you want to fall asleep.

Enjoy a Wind-Down Activity

A relaxing activity before shut-eye can prepare your mind for sleep. These activities include reading a book or taking a hot shower. Think about the activities that keep you more alert. Complete those earlier in the evening so they don't interfere with bedtime.

Don't Judge

Life happens. If you know you're not going to get to bed on time, don't spend time dwelling on the sleep you will miss. Instead, think positive thoughts. Relax your mind so the sleep you do get is restful. And plan to get to bed earlier the next night.

Take a Warm Bath or Shower

Research suggests that the hour before you want to go to bed is a great time to wash away the day's stress. A warm bath or shower can improve overall sleep quality. Plan this activity at least an hour before your bedtime to give your body's temperature time to return to normal.

Avoid Scrolling

Mindlessly scrolling social media or emails can trigger our emotions. We don't know what we will find, which means we don't know if we will become agitated or stressed. Even if the phone gets put down after you read something, it will stay in your mind and make it harder to fall asleep. Resist the urge to check email or scroll Twitter right before bed. If possible, avoid all screens during the hour before you want to fall asleep.

Prepare Your Sleep Space

Make sure your bed is ready for you. Add your favorite pillow or blanket. And try to use your bed only for sleeping. We are all tempted to read, watch shows, and even hit the snooze button in the morning. However, training ourselves to use the bed only for sleep can improve our overall sleep quality and time we spend asleep.

The Bottom Line

It is normal to have some nights of poor sleep. But some minor adjustments can make sure these nights happen less.

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

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