15 Ways to Get Better Sleep
Restful Sleep
Restful Sleep
An average adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep a night, but get much less. Sleep deprivation has been linked to heart disease, stoke, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, premature aging, depression, and obesity. Learn how to get the most out of your sleep with these steps.


Keep a Sleep Diary
Keep a Sleep Diary
If you have problems sleeping then you need to know your sleep patterns. To do this, you need to keep a sleep diary.

In the sleep diary, you'll want to record the time you went to bed and woke up. How long and the quality of sleep. When you were awake during the night. How much caffeine and alcohol you've consumed and when. What you ate or drank. If you felt emotional or stressed. Any drugs or medications you took. And how much exercise you had during the day and when.


Change Sleep Position
Change Sleep Position
The simplest thing to try if you have difficult problems sleeping is to change your sleep position. If you sleep on your right side, you can try on your back or your left side.

The most important considerations are finding a position that is comfortable and also a position that you can breathe easily.


Exercise
Exercise
In a study of 3000 adults, it was found that people who exercised 150 minutes or more per week slept significantly better and felt more alert during the day.

Exercise helps sleep quality. In a different study, it was found that people who exercised slept on average 45 minutes longer then those who didn't exercise. Exercise may mute a person's stress response. It's theorized that exercise reduces stress a person to sleep more readily.


Use Bed For Sleeping Only
Use Bed For Sleeping Only
If you're having problems sleeping, then you should only use your bed for sleeping. Especially don't watch TV or browse the internet with your phone or laptopt.

Sleeping habits need to be ingrained that the bed is only for sleeping. Electronic devices are especially bad, because the brightness of the screen can disrupt a person's circadian rhythm.


Keep a Regular Schedule
Keep a Regular Schedule
Overcoming sleep problems, means making good habits.

Try to go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends when it is tempting to stay up later.


Avoid Caffeine
Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic. That means it keeps you awake and use the restroom.

Some common foods to avoid are coffee, tea, chocolate, and colas.


Avoid Tobacco
Avoid Tobacco
Sleeping problems and tobacco use have long been documented. The biggest effect that tobacco has on sleep is that it reduces the amount of time in deep sleep.

Another problem is that tobacco users also have breathing problems, this can translate into a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea where a person has problems breathing while sleeping. Quitting smoking can immediately improve quality of sleep.


Avoid Alcohol
Avoid Alcohol
Although alcohol will make you sleepy, the quality of sleep is often poor and after a few hours, alcohol becomes a stimulant.

It's best to limit alcoholic drinks to 1 or two a day and not drink 3 hours before bed.


Change Your Mattress
Change Your Mattress
Not surprisingly, 92% of people surveyed said a comfortable mattress was important for a good night sleep.

You should consider changing your mattress if you wake up stiff, sore, or numb. Also, if your mattress has visible wear and tear or if it's older than 7 years old, you should also consider changing your mattress.


Eliminate Outside Stimulus
Eliminate Outside Stimulus
To get good sleep try to eliminate as many outside stimuli as possible. Try to keep your bedroom as quiet and dark as possible. That means turn off the TV, the nightlight, and the radio.

One exception is possibly white noise. Some people sleep better with a quiet consistent white noise like ocean waves, rain, or forest noises.


Learn Relaxation Techniques
Learn Relaxation Techniques
If you're keyed up with emotion and stress before bed, you're going to have a difficult time falling asleep. You will need to develop some relaxation techniques to slow down your heart rate and reduce your adrenaline levels.

There are various relaxation techniques one can try, such as deep breathing exercises, guided visualization, meditation, and mindfulness exercises.


Lose Weight
Lose Weight
Extra pounds especially belly fat has been correlated with sleep problems. Excess weight increases the chances of getting breathing problems and sleep apnea decreasing the quality of sleep.

In addition, weight loss improves blood sugar control, which could reduce restless leg syndrome.


Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common disorder when you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breathes while sleeping which is often exhibited by snoring. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. It greatly decreases the quality of sleep and has been linked to a host of health problems.

Some common causes of sleep apnea is being overweight or tobacco use, though many times it goes undiagnosed because it only occurs when you're asleep and unaware. Sleep apnea can be treated through mouth pieces, surgery, or a breathing device like a CPAP machine.


CPAP
CPAP
As mentioned before, a CPAP machine can help if you suffer from sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is a device that pumps a continuous flow of air into the nasal passages to keep them open.

Unfortunately, a CPAP machine is not the solution for many people, because they are expensive or they find the device uncomfortable to use.


Surgery
Surgery
If you don't think a CPAP machine is right, you can try surgery to correct sleep apnea. Surgery should be only considered as option of last resort.

Some surgical options include a Tonsillectomy to remove tonsils, maxillo-manibular advancement to move the jaws forward, and the most common sleep apnea surgery, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty which removes excess tissue in the throat to make airways wider.


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