How to Go to Sleep(And Stay There!)
Tired of restless nights? Some people are able to lie down at night and quickly fall into a fitful sleep, only to be awakened by the morning sun(or their alarm clock!). Others suffer from more irregular sleep patterns. Disturbed sleep refers to a number of conditions, but is most often associated with insomnia. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or tossing and turning, here are some things to avoid:
- Drinking Too Much: It is a known fact that the body needs to stay well hydrated to function properly. However, you should try to consume the majority of your needed liquids earlier in the day. This is because drinking too much at night can cause frequent trips to the bathroom, preventing you from getting fully res
- Caffeine: It's time to say NO to caffeine...at least in the afternoon. Coffee, a known stimulant, has been shown to stay in the system for up to twelve hours, which can prevent you from falling into a deep, restorative sleep
- Heavy Meals: Avoiding stuffing yourself at night will also improve your sleep patterns. The larger the meal, the more energy it takes to be digested, therefore your body will be working hard and not truly resting. Fatty foods are particularly hard to digest.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is a well known sleep aid. However, while a "nightcap" will definitely help one fall asleep, it can also reduce the quality of your sleep. Drinking alcohol at night has been shown to make sleep less effective and you may wake up feeling just as tired as you were before.
- Smoking: Besides the risks of cancer and lung disease, did you know that smoking can have adverse effects on sleep? Nicotine, like caffeine, is a known stimulant. Smokers can also go through mini-withdrawals at night, which can further disrupt their sleep.