Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

 When it comes to beating stress, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the rest they need.

If you’ve gone through a patch of being unable to sleep for days on end, you know it makes life feel as if it’s not worth living. You have little interest in much of anything, much less sticking to any kind of diet. But it is indeed possible to turn things around. Here are the keys to a good night’s sleep:

Physical Activity

Sleep is not just for your mind – sleep is nature’s way of resting your body, too. If your muscles are not tires because you are not getting enough exercise during the day, there is less physiological reason to sleep. So you’ll want to tire your muscles a bit to trigger the sleep response. Go out for an evening walk.

Stretch and Yawn

Children stretch and yawn as their day draws to a close. While most of us think of these signs of tiredness as having no physical function, it is worth noticing that they help ready the body for sleep. Most animals do exactly the same thing as they prepare for slumber. Cats and dogs stretch out their legs and make a big yawn.

About a half hour before you go to bed, stretch out your arms and open your mouth to stimulate a yawn. At first you’re just going through the motions, but soon you’ll end up triggering a genuine deep muscle stretch and yawn. Do this four times before you go to bed and you’ll notice a definite effect on sleep.

Nap During the Day

Many people imagine that daytime naps interfere with sleep but just the opposite is true. People who nap during the day tend to be less wired at bedtime and have an easier time sleeping.

Win the Lottery

Like it or not, worries intrude on sleep. Whether they relate to finances, family matters, job responsibilities, or personal problems, you’re going to have continuing challenges with your sleep until the situation is resolved. So while you’re waiting to win for lottery winnings, you’ll want to do the best you can to control your stress during the day.

Things That Interfere with Sleep:

Caffeine

Everyone knows that caffeine can disturb sleep, but what they may not realize is how persistent it actually is. Unfortunately, many caffeine drinkers find that their daily caffeine habit does nothing more then cure their withdrawal after the previous day’s hit.

Alcohol

A few hours after you’ve had a glass of wine or beer, alcohol converts to closely related chemicals, called aldehydes. Where alcohol had a calming effect, aldehydes are stimulants, accentuating anxieties and interfering with sleep.

High Protein Foods

When you eat high protein foods in the evening they can disrupt your brain’s ability to produce serotonin, the mood-regulating chemical that also helps you sleep. Here’s why: Serotonin is made from an amino acid called tryptophan, and, while many high-protein foods contain tryptophan, they contain even more of the other amino acids that compete with tryptophan for entry into the brain. The more protein you eat the less tryptophan gets into the brain and the less serotonin you make during the next few hours.

 

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