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Bedtime: Not Just for Kids

I’m not afraid to say it–I have a bedtime. Normally this is anywhere between 10 and 11 at night (depending on when I finish up my work). Most people tend to focus on the amount of sleep they get when in reality, regularity is just as important. Having a sleep routine can lower your risk of obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar, and developing heart disease. Knowing this, getting adequate and consistent sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Keeping a regular sleep-wake schedule: this entails going to bed and waking up around the same time every day (there’s that consistency we were talking about)
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine within the coming hours of going to sleep
  • Make your bedroom a comfortable sleep environment: if you love pillows, surround yourself with pillows–if you love blankets, surround yourself with them! Whatever makes you feel comfortable. I like to get comfortable by wrapping myself in lots of blankets and put rose oil in my diffuser
  • Go to sleep when you’re truly tired: don’t fight it! If you’re tired, allow yourself to sleep. The more you fight it, the more confused your internal clock can get.
  • Use light to your advantage by exposing yourself to light during the day and limiting light exposure in the evening
  • Don’t nap too close to your regular bedtime: napping can throw off your body’s natural sleep cycle. If you really need a nap close to bedtime, try setting a timer for 20 minutes so you don’t oversleep.
  • Eat and drink enough—but not too much or too soon before bedtime
  • Exercise regularly—but not too soon before bedtime

If you’re trying everything, but still having trouble sleeping, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional.

Written by GUADS Staff member Toni with contributions from www.healthline.com and www.sleepfoundation.org

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