Monday, February 14, 2011
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is crucial to overall physical and emotional health. But sometimes getting the sleep you need is more difficult than you'd expect.
How much you sleep can affect how good you feel. Ever get to bed a little later than you should? Who hasn't? If so, you may have noticed that you weren't at the top of your game the next day. The fact is: sleep can have a powerful impact on how you feel during the day-from your emotional state to your brain function.
Maintaining moods. Losing sleep can lead to irritability and changes in mood. Getting enough sleep can help you maintain a more even temperament and deal better with ordinary stress.
Fueling Focus. Ever find it hard to concentrate? Lack of sleep could be the culprit. Getting enough sleep promotes processes such as learning, memory and the ability to focus. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can impact time and problem-solving abilities.
Activities to get you in the mood for sleep.
1. Make a "to-do" list. If you find yourself thinking about things you have to remember for the following day, write them down and get them off your mind so you can relax and focus on sleep.
2. Take a candlelit bath. Soaking in hot water before bed is a great way to have some time to yourself every day. Add candles, bubbles and aromatherapy bath salts for even more relaxation. Play some soft, soothing music while you relax in the bathtub. Just make sure to leave enough time before you get into bed so that your body has time to cool down.
3. Listen to music or read a book. A relaxing activity like reading or listening to soothing music can help you unwind from the day and get ready for sleep. Try to do these activities away from bright lights to help separate your sleep time from awake time.
4. Try relaxation techniques. If you're stressed, you may need to try something new to relax and get to sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques is a great way to relax the mind and body before bed. Basic techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and visualization can all help slow your heart rate, breathing rate and reduce tension in our muscles.