We all know that sleep is critical to mental and physical well-being — it's nature's way to revitalize and recover from the wear and tear of the day. However, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night is not easy. Hundreds of reasons interfere with your ability to catch the right amount of Zzz's — work stress, family obligations or just plain surfing the web are just a few examples of why we get inadequate or poor sleep.
TRY THESE TIPS TO WIND DOWN, RELAX AND GET A LONGER, MORE RESTFUL NIGHT'S SLEEP.
Evaluate Your Room
The best environment for sleep is one that is cool, quiet, dark and free of interruptions. Check your room for noise or other distractions, such as lights from cable boxes and vibrations or pings announcing incoming emails and texts. Blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, and "white noise" makers such as humidifiers and fans help mask unwanted noise. Also consider your bedding. Pillows should support your neck in a neutral position, and mattresses should be replaced every nine to 10 years.
A relaxing routine and dim lighting help transition your body from the excitement of the day to bedtime. To help wind down, spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity, such as reading or listening to music. Ideally, avoid electronics before bed. Activities like online shopping or surfing the web can inadvertently cause you to stay up later than planned and for some the blue light emanating from computer and TV screens activates the brain.
Avoid Alcohol in the Evening
Although it might help you feel relaxed, as the initial effects wear off, alcohol actually causes frequent awakenings. It interferes with deep, REM sleep and may cause shallow sleep, multiple awakenings, REM rebound (associated with nightmares or vivid dreams), or sweating.
Stay Away From Bright Lights and Electronics
Light plays a critical role in your body's ability to create melatonin. While the pineal gland is prepared to create melatonin each night around 9 p.m., it will only do so when you're in a dimly lit environment. Help prepare your body for bed by avoiding bright lights before bed.
Stop Forcing It
If you find yourself lying awake and counting sheep into six figures, it's time for another trick. After 15 to 30 minutes of lying in bed awake, get out of bed. Avoid turning on bright lights, and find something calming to do, such as listening to music or reading. If you don't want to disturb your partner, try progressive relaxation by mentally relaxing each body part. For example, start at your head and consciously relax your jaw, forehead and neck, then move to your shoulders, and down through the body to your toes.
Write It Down
Keep a "worry journal" on your nightstand. It's common to wake up in the middle of the night worrying — and sometimes dwelling — on your list of to-dos in the morning. If you find yourself lying awake at night, daunted by the day's tasks ahead, quickly jot them all down on a piece of paper.
Consider taking Emergen-Zzzz®. It's a dietary supplement containing melatonin to help you fall asleep naturally, plus vitamin C and key antioxidants† to fortify your body while you sleep.*
Try Advil® PM, a combination pain reliever and sleep aid, when minor aches and pains are keeping you awake. Advil® PM combines the #1 pain reliever with a gentle, non-habit forming sleep aid to help you get the healing sleep your body needs. Use as directed.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
†Antioxidants include zinc and manganese.
Article provided by
Dollar General is not responsible for the content above and disclaims all liability therefrom. Dollar General does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service, or information provided on this site. All content, including but not limited to, health and wellness information provided herein, is for educational purposes only. It is provided "as is" and as such, the accuracy of same is not warranted in any way. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a medical professional. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different health or exercise program. Consult a medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new health or exercise program. Advance consultation with a medical professional is particularly important if you are under eighteen (18) years old, pregnant, nursing, or have health problems. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website!
If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all food products prior to consumption. Allergens and their derivatives can have various names and may be present in some food brands but not others. If the ingredient list is not available on the food product, check with the food manufacturer, or do not consume the product. If you have a food allergy, speak to your physician and/or a registered dietitian for a comprehensive list of foods and their derivatives to avoid prior to using any suggestions. Neither the author, Dollar General nor Triad Digital Media, LLC d/b/a Triad Retail Media assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.