A better night's sleep is within reach

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A better night's sleep is within reach

In a society that values productivity over rest, it can be hard to prioritize sleep. Between work, family life and hobbies, there’s not much time left in the day for anything else. But the fact is if we don’t value shuteye, our bodies will send a message loud and clear. Poor or lack of sleep is associated with higher rates of obesity, illness, and depression, among other conditions.

But where to begin? You don’t have to make changes overnight, but committing to small changes can add up over time. Beyond investing in a comfy mattress, here are a few other points to keep in mind:

1. Avoid bright lights before bed. It's best to turn off your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Bright artificial lights could leave you feeling wide awake when your body should be relaxing, thus making it more difficult to fall asleep.

2. Optimize the temperature. The cooler you remain during the night, the easier it is to achieve deeper, more restful, states of sleep. Experts agree that about 65 degrees is ideal for slumber. Lightweight, breathable sleepwear helps, too.

3. Try aromatherapy. Look to the power of Mother Nature to comfort. Lavender is naturally soothing and calming. You can find lavender essential oil at your local health food store. Put a few drops on a tissue and place under your pillow before bed. Inhale the aroma while you drift off to sleep.

4. Unwind. Meditation is a great way to help your brain turn off after the day’s events. There are a bevy of apps you can download to guide you in your practice. All it takes is 10 minutes to get appreciable results!

5. Limit caffeine. Every body metabolizes caffeine differently, but generally it’s agreed upon that it's best to limit caffeine consumption after 2 p.m. for restful sleep.

Remember, when you sleep better, you’re better equipped to manage life’s challenges and appreciate the highlights. Here’s to better sleep!

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  • Jeremiah Stettler