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6 Ways to Get More Restful Sleep

Restful sleep is one of the most important things to having a healthy lifestyle. Sleep disturbances can cause multiple health issues affecting the adrenals, appetite, insulin sensitivity, mood, immune system, blood pressure, and the list goes on.

Sleep has become very challenging for me. If you are like me, I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, which is surprisingly not uncommon. Stress plays a big a part in this. Whether you have an illness or your daily life is interfering with your sleep, stress is detrimental to having a restful night's sleep. So how do we fix this? There are plenty of medications out there that claim to give you a cure to your tossing and turning, but those medications can often be addictive and may lead to other issues down the road, while not actually fixing the underlying issue. Below are 6 suggestions to help you get a better night's sleep naturally.

  1. Establish a regular bedtime - the body likes routine, stick to a regular bedtime schedule every night (set a phone reminder to "wind down")

  2. Decrease use of electronic devices before bedtime - they are very stimulating! Reduce blue light exposure by putting your electronics away 2 hours before bedtime (yes this includes TV!)

  3. Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime - eating right before bedtime disrupts digestion; blood sugar imbalances from eating late can cause sleep disturbances

  4. Create a bedtime ritual - sets the stage for better sleep hygiene (reading, epsom salt bath, meditating, journaling, gentle stretching, low lighting or completely dark room)

  5. Exercise and engage in physical activity during the day - best time to exercise is earlier in the day

  6. Avoid or decrease amount of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar - caffeine decreases melatonin; alcohol interferes with REM sleep; sugar causes inflammation

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