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Most healthy adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. We all need that enough sleep. Here are a helpful tips and tricks experts swear by, to combat sleep problems both big and small.
1. Cut caffeine by the afternoon
Caffeine can greatly reduce the amount and quality of sleep. Drinking coffee or energy drinks too late in the day can interfere with getting to sleep since the half-life of caffeine is 4-6 hours. People who have no caffeine after 12 noon report a better quality of sleep after quitting caffeine.
2. Don’t eat too much before sleep
Overeating and eating certain foods before bed can cause numerous problems. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed.
3. Avoid alcohol before bed
After a few drinks, especially in people who don’t drink much, individuals often report subjectively shallow sleep and frequent mid-night awakenings. The effects vary greatly. Some people experience sweating and vivid dreams. Indeed, drinking lowers your body’s core temperature slightly, followed by a rise. Drinking has been shown to result in low quality of sleep as measured by nighttime awakenings (fragmented sleep) and decreased time spent in REM sleep.
4. Keep your bedroom dark.
Sleeping in a dark room can greatly improve your quality of sleep. Darkness causes the brain to produce the hormone melatonin, which gives us that sleepy feeling. Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep aid, which is only produced once all artificial and natural light is gone and the room is as dark as possible. If you’re not ready to install blackout shades, try an eye mask. Blocking out all light with an eye mask is one of the best ways to induce melatonin production, which helps you fall asleep faster.
5. Try deep breathing
Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Take a deep breath into your lower belly (not your chest) and feel your abdomen expand with air. Hold this for a few seconds and then release. Notice your belly rising and falling, and the air coming in and out a few times. Imagine the air filling up your abdomen, and then traveling out your airways, over and over. Continue to do this for a few minutes, focusing your mind back to your body and the breath coming in and out. Any time a thought crosses your mind, release that thought and refocus on the breath. Feel yourself relaxing even more deeply.
6. Drink warm milk before bed
Milk can raise your internal body temperature when it’s heated, which will relax you and make you sleepy and calm. Add to this the most powerful effect of all, the placebo effect. Warm milk seems to do something psychologically that makes us calm and drowsy.
7. Keep your room cool
if temperatures remain high it can be difficult to fall asleep in a hot stuffy bedroom, leaving many suffering from a disturbed night’s sleep. Your body temperature needs to drop slightly before you go to sleep which is why you just can’t sleep when you’re too hot.