The Importance of Sleep

One-third of our lives is spent sleeping, and that time spent can be as critical to good health as the things we do when we are awake. Because our bodies need time to rest and regenerate, seven to eight hours of sleep can lead to a more productive and enjoyable life. Good sleep can add three to five years to your life.

The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to clear your mind. The thoughts that keep running through your mind when you are trying to go to sleep – paying the bills, getting certain things done, going over the bad events of the day, worrying about what’s coming up – can lead to long, restless nights that are completely unproductive and even harmful to you. If you have a stress point that is causing you to lose sleep, it is very important to recognize it and try to eliminate it from your life.

Approximately one out of three Americans experience sleep problems. Sleep can also contribute to the regulation of our appetities by regulating the balance of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are involved in determining our levels of hunger or fullness. Thus, sleep can even contribute to weight control. It may be difficult to clear your mind before going to sleep, but you may want to try these 10 tips to better sleep:

1) Listen to restful, soothing music and get lost in the notes while letting go of the day’s activity

2) Take a warm, fragrant bath ninety minutes before bedtime in a dimly lit bathroom

3) Drink a cup of herbal tea in a fine china teacup

4) Get into a routine before you go to bed

5) Don’t go to bed until you are sleepy, reduce the time spent lying awake in bed

6) Make sure all of the lights are turned out

7) Try to go to bed at the same time each night

8 ) Don’t drink stimulants such as coffee, tea, or alcohol before you go to sleep

9) Refrain from vigorous exercise several hours before going to bed

10) Get out of bed if you can’t go to sleep within 20 minutes. Try and do something relaxing before going back to bed

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