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3 Tips for Better Sleep

By Rachel Shouse

It's a rather common complaint among folks. They feel like they either don't get enough sleep or don't sleep well. Life doesn't always care about our need for a good night's sleep. That being said, it's important that you set yourself up for success as best as you can. You can do this by being mindful of what you eat and drink, both throughout the day and in the evening. Getting proper exercise and creating a relaxing bedtime routine are our other two tips.

What Are You Eating and Drinking?

I love coffee, but I don't drink any after 7 in the evening anymore. Some may have to set that limit even earlier. Whilst coffee is amazing, it's not worth the tossing and turning. If you find yourself craving coffee, tea, soda, or other caffeinated beverage, substitute that for something else. You could drink a glass of milk, some warm water and lemon, etc. 

You can't expect yourself to sleep well if you're also not eating well. Your body needs the nutrients from a healthy diet in order for you to function at your best. That functioning also includes your sleep. Eating foods that are high in salt, fat, sugar all have an influence on your ability to sleep at night. Salt makes you retain water, especially when you're not moving very much. Sugar causes sporadic energy levels. You get the picture.

How Exercise Affects Your Sleep

Working out on a regular basis doesn't only provide the necessary cardio that your body needs. Exercising on a regular basis puts our bodies in a different kind of habit. Energy levels rise and fall naturally throughout the day. That's why you feel a sudden depletion of energy in the early afternoon. Your brain releases melatonin at that time of day because it's craving some time to process the day you've had so far. 

That being said, not exercising can worsen drowsiness and chronic fatigue. I struggle with this, I love sleeping, naps, all of it. Getting too much sleep is actually counterproductive. Your body depends on a schedule of sleep time and awake time. Getting this internal clock out of whack can cause a lot of issues. 

Creating a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

It's not only important that your bedtime routine take care of your physical body, it's important that you include your emotional health as well. Taking time to journal could help your brain slow down after a long and busy day. People who have restless leg syndrome benefit from light and gentle leg stretches before bed. This can also help those who don't have this though. Getting that little bit of nervous energy out can really help decrease the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. 

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

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