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10 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep – Part 1

san jose, counseling, chris jones, mood swingsSleep is an extremely important aspect of everybody’s lives. Without it, things like hormone regulation and the healing process would get thrown off. Sleep regulates important hormones like melatonin, seratonin, and dopamine, which influence mood, motivation, sleep and cravings. This is the first part in our 2 part series on tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

1. Eating right before bedtime

When you eat late at night, even if it’s just a snack, it prevents your body from cooling down during sleep as well as raising your insulin levels. Because of this, less melatonin is produced, making restful sleep harder. How to fix it: Stop eating 3 hours before you go to sleep.

2. Sleeping with too much light

Even the smallest amount of light can interfere with melatonin and the release of growth hormone. When there is light while you are sleeping, cortisol also stays unnaturally high. How to fix it: Sleep in complete darkness, and get blackout curtains if you need to.

3. Drinking too much liquid before bed

The obvious reason for not drinking too much before bed is the need for bathroom trips in the middle of the night. Waking up, walking around, and turning lights on disturbs your natural sleep cycle, and turning the light on can suppress your natural melatonin production. How to fix it: Stop drinking 2 hours before bed, and use a red nightlight in the bathroom.

4. Exercising late at night

While regular exercise can help you sleep better, exercising close to bedtime can interfere with your ability to fall asleep because of a raised body temperature and more than normal brain activity. How to fix it: do not do any type of cardio 3 hours before bed.

5. Too much TV or computer use before bed

While watching a favorite show, checking your email, or playing games on your phone before bed might seem relaxing, it is actually increasing brain activity and the light is preventing release of melatonin. How to fix it: take time before bed to wind down by doing something like meditation, reading, or journaling.

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