Sleep

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When was the last time you enjoyed a healthy, uninterrupted, peaceful night’s sleep? Can’t remember? You are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 Americans are not getting the sleep they need. Sleep is vital. It’s as important as food and water. And when we don’t get enough, our health suffers. Sleep deficiency can lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, strokes and obesity.

Getting the sleep you need can improve your health in so many ways. You will notice your skin looks healthy and refreshed, emotionally you feel stronger, hormones are in balance, bones are stronger and memory and cognitive function is far better.

So what can you do to improve your quality of sleep?

Ensure you maintain a good sleep/wake cycle, going to bed and waking at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Exercise regularly, it’s a fact that people who regularly exercise, sleep better at night.

Watch what you eat and when you eat it. Avoid eating late. Avoid caffeine later in the day. Limit your alcohol and sugar intake. A few drinks may help you get to sleep but your quality of sleep will not be good. Some foods can actually help you to sleep. Cherries, bananas, fatty fish and chamomile tea all help to improve sleep.

In today’s busy world, stress is a common problem for many people. Try to reduce your stress levels, particularly your attitude towards sleep. Take time to relax before bed. Avoid working and screens late at night.

Airborne allergens and pollutants can also impact the quality of your sleep, particularly for people with ongoing respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD. But even healthy people notice a huge improvement in their quality of sleep when the bedroom is free from pollutants. Clean air reduces nighttime coughing, sneezing and wheezing. It stops snoring and helps to strengthen our immune system.

When we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Sleep enables us to function at our best physically and emotionally.

For more help and advice on how to improve your quality of sleep, follow this link.

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