Achieving wellness in your life can be a complex balancing act. There are so many considerations to take into account. Today’s modern American lifestyle includes stresses from work, home, and society itself. Surely, eating right and exercising on a regular basis are also key contributors. Perhaps the most important wellness factor is actually getting a good night’s sleep, which can seem almost impossible to achieve sometimes.
To get a good night’s sleep in today’s typical American household actually requires a lot of things to go right. First of all, if you have a dog, he has to cooperate by not taking up your side of the bed. Then, the kids need to cooperate by not waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares, for a drink of water, or any other number of things. Your spouse also has to cooperate by not snoring or haphazardly elbowing you in the nose during a particularly restless night. All is not lost, however. What follows is a list of five wellness tips to put the odds more in your favor, and give you the best chance of getting a good night’s sleep.
- No Caffeine or Alcohol – Caffeine, in particular, is a nasty little culprit of all sorts of adverse effects on overall wellness. It can stay into the bloodstream long after consumption, having an effect on your quality of sleep up to 12 hours later. Find a cutoff time for your last sip of coffee, tea, or soda, and stick to it. For some people, it’s 3:00 pm, others it’s noontime. Some people can’t drink it at all without suffering from some sort of temporary insomnia. Alcohol isn’t much better either. It’s largely a misnomer that alcohol makes you sleepy. It usually causes a restless night more than anything with a lot of sudden arm and leg movement throughout the night. Consequently, people who have problems with alcohol usually have sleep problems as well.
- Timely Exercise – Numerous studies show that people who exercise at least three times per week sleep more restfully and have a much better state of overall wellness than those with a sedentary lifestyle. The trick, however, is in the timing of your exercise routine. The optimal time for exercise is nothing less than four hours before bedtime. Anything sooner could result in an increase in energy level and cause a decrease in the likelihood of getting to sleep at a reasonable time.
- Mind over Matter – If you are in a particularly bad rut in your sleep habits, it might help to not let it get the best of you. Sometimes if you keep telling yourself how hard it is to function if you don’t get some sleep, it can cause your insomnia to get even worse. Block it out of your mind, count sheep if you have to, and just try to relax. Eventually, you should be off in dreamland.
- Destress – Try invoking a bedtime for yourself that involves some good calm down techniques. Reading a book works for a lot of people. Meditation can be a wonderful activity to, especially if you have a particularly stressful job. Others have luck with taking a bath or shower before bed every night. The one thing to stay away from is screen time, which can cause stimulation and have an adverse effect on sleep habits.
- Eat Right – Not only are healthy eating habits imperative to good overall wellness, but what you eat before bed can be a big contributor to getting a good night’s rest as well. Avoid eating a big meal for up to two hours before bed for best results, but don’t go to bed too hungry either. Going to bed on an empty stomach can make it harder to get to sleep as well. Therefore, try a light and healthy snack before bed if necessary.
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