5 SimpleTips to improve your sleep quality.

Research has linked inadequate or poor quality sleep to increased stress, anxiety, depression, lowered immune function, increased weight gain , poor brain function, decreased alertness. Poor quality of sleep or simple sleep deprivation has also been linked to  premature aging  .

Occasionally, stress keeps us all awake at night but when our sleep is disturbed on a regular basis the cumulative effects of that can affected your health and wellbeing.

In this blog post I just wanted to share with you  5 simple actions that when taken can improve the quality of your sleep. Getting good night’s sleep on on a regular basis is the foundation   great health and wellbeing and happier lives.Not only does it improve our capacity to cope  with stress, it hard to have fin when you are always tired.

1. Get comfortable! If it’s hot, turn on your air conditioner, open a
window or turn on the ceiling fan. If your room is too cold, adjust the thermostat, get an extra blanket or put on a long sleeve shirt. Research shows that we do sleep better in a cool room with some fresh air. A common cause disturbed sleep is overheating.

2.Do a short progressive relaxation exercise. Slowly tense  each individual muscle group and then let go and relax each group. Beginning at your head, work down through every muscle group till you reach your to toes.  You can do this exercise with or without some gentle music. Combine this with some slow deep rhythmic breathing for a deeply relaxing experience that will usually have to dropping off to sleep again quickly.

3. Drink some a relaxing tea. There are several herbal teas that help the body to relax. Chamomile tea is a common drunk to calm the nervous system.  “Sleepy Time Tea” is another herbal based tea which is pleasant to drink and very calming. It is made by Celestial Seasonings and you can get at health food shops and supermarkets. If you want you can to sweeten it by adding some honey.

4. Don’t stay in bed if you have difficulty falling asleep or are awake during the night for more than 15 minutes. If you have been awake and can’t fall asleep then get up and find something to do until you begin to feel sleepy again. Lying in bed watching the clock tends to create anxiety about not sleeping and is counterproductive.

It is important that you don’t get up and watch television or work on the computer because the light from the screen tricks the body into thinking it is daylight and prevents melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that  is needed for deep  sleep and relaxation and is produced by the pineal gland. Instead unload the dishwasher, fold your laundry, listen to a relaxation cd or read a book.

5. Exercise is great for improving the quality of your sleep. Exercise  during the day not only increases your energy, reduces the effects of stress and improves brain function  but if performed no less 4 hours before bed it has the ability to create hormonal changes that improve the quality of your sleep. So a short walk after dinner  is not only good for your digestion and helps you to destress from the day but can also improve the quality of your sleep.

Watch for  more tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep in the next few days.