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Healthy Sleep: How to Discover Your Optimal Sleeping Conditions
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A great night’s sleep is highly dependent on environmental conditions and practices, such as lighting, waking up at a consistent time, shutting off lights an hour or so before bed time and the like. After following these important sleep tips, one can look forward to great sleep every time they hit the pillow.

Disruptive Sleep Habits

According to Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, specific habits could be disrupting one’s sleep. Aside from feeling tired, lack of sleep can cause physical conditions such as depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and other conditions. One of the biggest habits the disrupts good sleep is consuming caffeine at the wrong time or having too much of it, as confirmed by one thorough study on caffeine and sleep. Overall, one should not consume any caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Another bad habit, as far as food goes, is eating too much before bedtime. Certain snacks can actually help one sleep, but eating a large meal before bed is counterproductive.

Create the Right Environment

Light is known to keep the body awake by producing waking hormones. Therefore, keep the bedroom dark or dim for at least an hour before bedtime. Stay away from other light sources such as phones and computers. A room that’s too hot can make it especially hard to sleep. If sound is a problem, one can turn to solutions such as earplugs or even soundproofing systems.

Different Sleep Positions

Overall, the best sleep position is for one to sleep on their back, except for those with sleep apnea. For most people, sleeping on the back is ideal. Various sideways sleeping positions are perfect for those who suffer from sleep apnea. It’s also the second best sleeping position in general.

Other Bad Sleep Habits

Many think that getting the extra sleep between snooze alarms helps, but in actuality, it only makes them groggier. The light sleep between alarms is simply not high-quality deep sleep. Instead, it only makes them groggier by waking them up at the wrong sleep cycle. Every 90 minutes, one goes through an entire sleep cycle, including light, deep, REM and other stages. Waking up before this cycle is complete will make it much harder to wake up. Make sleep times based on this 90-minute cycle to ensure an easier time to wake up. For instance, sleep times can be six, seven and a half or nine hours long. Make sure to add an extra 15 or so minutes to actually fall asleep. Waking up at a consistent time in the morning will also help.

Be Sure to Exercise

Exercise has been shown to have huge benefits in getting better sleep, as confirmed by one study. People who regularly exercise have been shown to sleep better at night and feel more awake during the day, lengthening the time one spends in deep sleep as well. Overall, it’s been shown that more vigorous exercise gives more powerful sleep benefits, but even a light ten minute walk a day can make a difference. However, it can take several months to see the full benefits from exercise, so be patient and consistent. Do make sure to not exercise too soon before bedtime, as doing so can keep one awake.

Just following these simple tips will make all the difference in the quality of sleep one gets. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to get checked by the doctor for actual physical problems like insomnia. Even people with sleep problems, such as insomnia, will see improvement with these simple tips as long as they stick to the course.




By Rachelle Wilber
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

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Biography: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies.

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