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Sleep hygiene: How to prepare yourself for a good night's rest
18.05.10

Here are 17 tips you can use for day and night to help you get the sleep you need.

Natural Alarm Clock Dawn Simulator Instead of using an alarm clock, which interrupts the sleep cycle, the Mayo Clinic advises using a dawn simulator, a bedside device that emits light to mimic the rising of the sun.

Get some natural light Sunlight regulates and resets our circadian clocks, triggering the body to release chemicals and hormones. Try using a S.A.D Light Therapy Lightbox lamp.

Take breaks A few times a day, find a quiet place with dim lighting and take five minutes to calm your mind and focus on your breathing.

Eliminate caffeine The effects of the stimulant— found in coffee, many sodas, chocolate and teas—can last up to seven hours, and even small doses can block sleep neurotransmitters.

Exercise Regular exercise can ward off insomnia by working off stress and signalling the body to enter deeper sleep. But do it four to six hours before bedtime, because physical stimulation can make falling asleep harder.

Eat early The digestive system peaks at lunchtime, so it’s best to consume most of the day’s food by then. Keep dinner small, and eat it at least three hours before going to bed.

NIGHTTIME

Keep a regular bedtime Early to bed, early to rise is best. That includes weekends.

Put closure on your workday Write down a list of work-related things you did and what you need to do tomorrow.

Power down An hour before bed, ultraturn off the TV, the computer and all other electronic devices.

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