Sleep Better, Feel Better
A proper sleep routine can affect many areas of your life, including physical health. From headaches and poor circulation, to high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction, not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your body.
Your biological clock is the internal time keeper which your body uses to tell you when it’s time to wake, sleep, and perform other biological functions. When this clock isn’t working, it can throw off your entire day, making it difficult for your body to heal, lowering your immune system, and making you drowsy throughout the day. Here are a few ways you can keep your clock set and ticking.
Create a Routine
It sounds simple, but most North American schedules fluctuate. You might skip a meal, work late, or stay up past your normal bedtime to watch a favorite show on television. While this isn’t a problem occasionally, making it a normal part of your everyday life can throw off your sleep patterns big time.
Your body works best when it knows what to expect; this is why so many individuals with regular wakeup alarms often wake just before the beeper goes off. Your body gets into the habit of rising at a certain time.
By creating a waking and sleeping routine, and trying your best to adhere to it, you’ll be tired when you crawl into bed, and wide awake when you step out of it. If your body gets used to staying up late to watch television, and you want to go to bed early because of a meeting in the morning, you’re more likely to have trouble falling asleep.
Maintain Blood Sugar
The food that you put into your body is burned as fuel. This is what energizes you, and keeps you moving throughout the day. When you skip a meal, eat poorly, or eat late at night, your body has a difficult time regulating that energy and focusing it for the times when you need it most. Again, having a standard eating routine can keep you energized during the day, and give your body a chance to rest at night. Even more important than creating an eating schedule, is keeping your blood sugar regulated, especially toward bedtime.
Eating before bed is like fueling your body for a marathon, and then never making the trip. The food you consume will make it difficult to sleep as energy levels go up, your digestive system goes into overdrive, and you are simply laying in bed wishing you could turn everything off and pass out for the night.
Cut Caffeine Off by Mid-Afternoon
It comes as no surprise that ingesting caffeine before bedtime will keep you up at night, but what many coffee lovers don’t realize is that the effects of caffeine can take up for seven hours to completely wear off. This means that a cup of Joe at 4:00pm, could still be buzzing through your system at 11:00pm. If your bedtime is 10:00pm, try not to ingest caffeinated products after 2:00pm.
Another caffeine tip to remember when trying to improve your sleeping patterns, is that caffeine hides in plenty of other daily foods and drinks, aside from coffee. Chocolate, green tea, and cola all carry trace amounts of caffeine; some higher than others. Most herbal teas are okay, but it’s best to read the ingredients before drinking or eating at night.
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