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Sleep Better With These Tips

By Paul Rothbart

There is nothing more important than good sleep and yet it eludes many people night after night. Quite a few of those who have trouble sleeping just suck it up and go on with their daily activities. This may seem to be a sign of a strong and dedicated individual, in actuality, it's a very bad idea. Sleep is when the body and brain restore themselves. Poor sleep can lead to many health problems and increase the risk of chronic diseases. If you have trouble sleeping, you need to fix the problem.

Lay Off Caffeine Late in the Day

Caffeine is a morning essential for most people. Many also use it as a boost in the afternoon to get through the rest of the day. Be careful how late you consume caffeine. It stimulates your nervous system and its effects can last up to eight hours. Caffeine in your blood makes it very difficult to sleep. Have a definite cut-off time for coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Medical professionals recommended not consuming caffeine after 3-4 in the afternoon.

Expose Yourself to Bright Light During the Day

Your circadian rhythm, your body's natural clock, tells your brain and body when to stay awake and when to sleep. It is triggered by periods of light and dark. Circadian rhythm is healthiest when exposed to sunlight or other bright light sources during the day. Research found that adults who were exposed to bright light for two hours during the day slept 80 percent more efficiently and for two additional hours. If you work indoors or don't get much sun in certain seasons, you can invest in a light therapy lamp.

Cut Down on Blue Light at Night

Tablets, smartphones, and computers emit blue light. Too much of it at night can convince your circadian rhythm that it's daytime and make sleep difficult. Cut out blue light exposure in the evening hours before bed. Put the phone away and shut off the computer two hours before sleep. If you like to read off a tablet in bed, use the blue light block setting. Another effective way to protect yourself is to wear glasses with a blue light filter. 

Avoid Napping

Some days you just need a little extra sleep. Naps can be helpful but be careful. They can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Don't nap unless you cannot stay awake. Keep naps short. A 30-minute nap can be refreshing and is the maximum time you should sleep during the day. Once you establish healthy sleep patterns, you will probably find you don't need naps at all.

Good sleep is essential to good health but it can be difficult to attain. Don't ignore poor sleep. Try these tips to get a good night's rest and help maintain your health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Draper, Utah

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