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5 Ways to Sleep Better


Sleep is that time in your life where you go into a short term coma and escape the horrors of life. It keeps you at the top of your game and gives you time to sort through the challenges of the day. However it’s delicate and the smallest thing can ruin your sleep.

Of course there’s the little things like your cat waking you up in the middle of the night. But one of the worst things that can keep you up is stress and worrying. Stress is such a big thing that it may not be possible to block it out. But here’s one known method of dealing with stress and anxiety before sleeping.

1. ACCEPTANCE & COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT)

ACT is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies. It has been proven by many studies to help those who struggle with sleep.

Using ACT, you need to:

  1. Accept the things you cannot change.
  2. Change the things you can.
  3. Understand the difference.

Stop fighting your anxiety, see them for what they are. Describe to yourself what they are and then visualise them in a space in your head.

You need to learn that you can’t control the thoughts that pop up in your head, but you can control how you choose to respond to them.

2. SMART WORKOUT SCHEDULES

Exercise is a great way to promote good sleep. If you like vigorous exercise, though, make sure you don’t do it too close to bedtime. Exercising gets endorphins flowing and causes bursts of energy, which you don’t want when it’s time to get some shut-eye. Do the hardcore workout early in the day, and if you want to try something more relaxing before bed, mind-body exercises (tai-chi, yoga, Pilates) can be a great way to wind down from the day.

3. EAT SOME PREBIOTICS

Put this suggestion in the “experimental box”, as it’s based on pretty fresh data from the University of Colorado Boulder

“We found that dietary prebiotics can improve non-REM sleep, as well as REM sleep after a stressful event,” said Robert Thompson author of the study published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Prebiotics act as food for good bacteria in your stomach and are dietary fibers found naturally in foods like chicory, artichokes, raw garlic, leeks and onions. Not your usual pile of snacks, but not difficult to integrate into your diet either.

TOP PREBIOTIC FOODS

  1. Chicory Root
  2. Cocoa
  3. Apples
  4. Garlic
  5. Onions
  6. Leeks
  7. Asparagus
  8. Bananas
  9. Barley
  10. Oats

4. CREATE A ROUTINE

If you go to bed and wake up at different times every day, it can be difficult to get into a routine. You may also find that a ritual procedure to prepare for bed eases your mind so that you are ready as your head hits the pillow. Keep a schedule so that you build a proper circadian rhythm – a bodily clock – that reflects the sleep you want to get.

5. WATCH THE PILLS

If you’re feeling a bit ill and need something to nip it in the bud then avoid any pills that have pseudoephedrine in it. It’s normally found in cold and flu medications. It’ll keep you awake. Instead opt for nighttime remedies that contain antihistamines. Those will put you out quick smart.

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