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Several tips for a Good Sleep
24 Dec. 2013

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While some people slinky between the sheets and easily fall asleep, for many people falling asleep is not so easy. As the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) claims, about 30% of Americans, i.e. over 40 million people, sleep not more than 6 hours a day, whereas the National Sleep Foundation asserts that a good night’s sleep should last from 7 to 9 hours. Not getting enough sleep is linked to the increased risk of heart problems, diabetes, depression and substance abuse. Lack of sleep also tempts appetite and may lead to weight gain and even future obesity.

Two unpublished study findings recently presented at American Academy of Sleep Medicine, show that sleep deprivation may increase preference for unhealthy eating and dampen the decision-making ability, especially as regards rich and sustaining food.
In spite of the fact that the consequences are severe, lots of Americans continue to scrimp on sleep. It happens because many stay up till late socializing with friends, watching favorite TV shows or ballgames. People also rob themselves of sleep fulfilling family household duties or meeting an important deadline at work.

Before you spend a fortune on drinks, pills or medical devices that promise slumber, consider several do-it-yourself remedies first. Besides sleep prioritization and keeping your bedroom distraction-free, find time to eat right and stay active. This will help you to sleep slumber. Below are some more hints to help you sleep – fitness, food and lifestyle changes. In case your problem persists, address your consulting physician.

Be active

Physical exercises will not only keep your muscles, heart and bones strong, they may help you sleep well. An article recently published in Journal of Physiotherapy states that physical exercises have a positive effect on the sleep quality in middle-aged and geriatric patients. Frequent morning and afterdinner walks as well as physical activities will help you fall asleep fast. This happens because your body needs a rest after exercise; it needs to cool down and a cool body sleeps better.

Carb up

Eat food rich in carbohydrates, which will energize your body during the day and hit your featherbed at night. The essential amino acid, tryptophan, found in chickpeas, eggs and turkey, promotes the serotonin production, a neuromediator which helps to settle down. These are carbohydrates that carry tryptophan to the brain that works like magic. Half of your daily calories intake must come from carbohydrates. Decide in favor of fruits and vegetables, including potatoes, beans, whole grains and low-fat milk products. Eat less at dinner and bedtime because late, hearty meals can have an adverse effect on your sleep.

Mind caffeine consumption

Caffeine is known to stimulate the central nervous system and its overconsumption prevents sleepiness and may cause sleep difficulty. Caffeine remains in the body for several hours that is why doctors caution against drinking coffee in the evening or at least a couple of hours before going to bed.

Hold back from a nightcap

Alcohol encourages excess food consumption. Moreover, while it can help some people fall asleep, it can also contribute to a restless sleep and increase daytime fatigue. According to Food-based Dietary Guidelines men are allowed to have 2 drinks a day and women one drink a day, i.e. 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. If you can’t forgo a drink in favor of a good sleep, have your drink at lunchtime at the least.

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