Monday, December 17, 2012

Struggling to Get Your Nightly 8 Hours? Here are Some Simple Sleep Aid Tips

A poor night's sleep is a sure fire way to find yourself less focused, motivated and unable to make good decisions. In fact sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on both work life and personal health and wellbeing.

Whilst we all know this to be true and may want to improve our lifestyle to help ensure a good night's sleep, a restful night isn't always easy to come by. With work pressures building, stresses and strains can take their toll, resulting in fewer hours rest, late nights and a whole host of worries to keep you from relaxing.

For those struggling to get their much needed eight hours of rest, here are some tips to help you win back your sleep time.

1. Exercise your mind and body
Whilst we all know exercise is good for long term health, it can also help you sleep better. Expending energy with a run, gym session or sport means you're more likely to be tired when bed time comes around. With exercise comes a more energised approach to the day, which in turn keeps the mind buzzing and ready to get stuck into work. With mind and body both well exercised a deep and restful sleep is just around the corner.

2. Reduce sensory stimulus
A gentle piece of music can be a relaxing end to a stressful day. However too much television or computer time just before bed can be a problem. Electronic media is believed to create a lower quality of sleep with the brain kept active by constantly changing light stimulus. This stimulation makes the body believe it should be awake and therefore makes it harder to slow down and sleep.

3. Address your diet
With some foods known to help sleep and others known to hinder it, it's wise to keep an eye on what you eat and drink and when. Caffeine drinks are best avoided, especially before bed, whilst warm milk and herbal teas are recommended. Avoid a large fatty or greasy meal before bed and give your body time to digest it properly.

4. Nap time
A good nap time isn't just for children, it's an increasingly popular way to keep the mind fresh and focused during a long day. A power nap is generally around 20 minutes long, but is a favoured approach for businesses as well as individuals to prevent over-tiredness. Rather than hinder night time sleep patterns a power nap can ensure the body is ready to rest come evening.

5. Clear your mind
Easy said than done, but if you're holding on to worries, stresses and anxieties it'll be hard to shut off, close your eyes and fall asleep. To help keep your head clear from concerns, keep a pen and paper by your bed and write down your worries to deal with in the morning. If this doesn't work why not talk to a trusted friend and tell them why you're feeling stressed.

With a few simple alterations to your lifestyle there's no reason why you can't address your nocturnal problems and benefit from a deep and peaceful night's rest. Of course it takes time to adjust your body clock, habits and diet, but with a little time and effort it's surprising what can be achieved.

Post by Tony, writing for


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