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Sleeping is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Lack of sleep could lead to dangerous health risks such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
According to a study by the Sleep Foundation, following these simple steps could lead to better Zzz’s:
1. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day
- Creating consistency and a routine will trigger to your mind and body when it is time to wake up and when it is time to fall asleep. Eventually, you will barely need an alarm clock because your brain will be set to an internal clock and you will feel more rested and in control.
2. Avoid heavy meals late in the evening, but don’t go to bed hungry
- Eating right before falling asleep can have several negative effects including insomnia. If you must have a snack to avoid going to bed hungry, try foods that promote calmness, such as cereal and milk.
3. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
- Alcohol may help you fall asleep but it may interrupt your sleep later at night.
4. If you smoke, quit. If you won’t quit, avoid nicotine late in the afternoon or evening.
5. Avoid caffeine late in the afternoon or evening.
- Caffeine’s effect reaches its peak 1-4 hours after it is consumed and can exert its stimulant effects for up to 14 hours.
6. Exercise regularly.
- Exercise improves the quality of sleep especially among the elderly. Avoid strenuous exercise within 2 hours of bedtime.
7. Establish a relaxing pre-bed routine.
- This can be things like taking a warm bath, reading or meditating. This allows you to unwind and send a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
8. Don’t nap after 3:00 p.m.
9. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable.
10. Sleep on a comfortable mattress or pillow
11. Don’t read, write, eat, watch T.V., talk on the phone, or play cards in bed.
12. If you do not fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and do something relaxing like listening to music or reading a book.