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5 Tips to Help You Sleep Better Naturally

5 Tips to Help You Sleep Better Naturally

Endless nights of poor sleep can take a toll on your health and may increase your risk of heart disease. Otherwise healthy people who get too little or too much sleep, or who have a poor quality of sleep, can show early markers of heart disease, according to a study published by the American Heart Association. The study joins earlier research that found people who typically get less than 6 hours of sleep nightly are more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

According to researchers, 50% of adults report occasional insomnia and 20% have chronic sleep troubles. If you are among those who find it hard to get a good night’s sleep, here are 5 strategies that can help you naturally sleep better:

  1. Keep a diary. Record when you go to bed, the number of times you wake up and how you feel in the morning for about 2 weeks. Also note food, activity and exercise patterns before bed – including what you eat or do and when. This will help you identify patterns affecting your sleep.
  2. Change your ways. Once you’ve identified what is negatively affecting your sleep, make some changes to your daily habits. For example, you may want to nix the caffeine after 2 pm or exercise earlier in the day.
  3. Take time to unwind. Your body needs time to move from a state of activity to a more relaxed state. Pick up your favorite magazine or dive into a book at the end of the day. Dim the lights and listen to soothing music. Reduce or eliminate electronic use close to bedtime.
  4. Establish a schedule. A regular sleep schedule keeps your body’s clock steady. Stick with your routine as much as possible, even on weekends.
  5. Ease back into slumber. If you wake up during the night, lie in the dark, relax your body and breathe deeply. If after a few minutes, it stresses you out to lie awake, get out of bed and do something calming in dim light until you feel drowsy again.

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