November 28, 2008

Safe Tips to Sleep Better

There are several things that you can do to help you to sleep better at night. You can avoid alcohol before bedtime, avoid caffeine, turn down the thermostat, increase carbohydrate intake, and develop a sleep schedule.

It is not good to drink alcohol before trying to go to sleep. Alcohol can have a negative effect on the quality of sleep. Even small or moderate amounts of alcohol can suppress melatonin, which is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. It also interferes with the monoamine transmitters that controls the body's ability to sleep well. Alcohol can also interfere with restorative N-REM cycles and prevent a person from dreaming by disrupting the second half of the sleep cycle.

Eliminating caffeinated drinks from your diet can help you to sleep better. Caffeine can have a negative effect on sleep by boosting a person's alertness, activate stress hormones, and increase heart rate and blood pressure. It is good to to drink a caffeinated drink at least 8 hours before your bedtime.

Keeping your bedroom or the area where you sleep cool and dark can help you to sleep better. The recommended temperature is between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A cool room makes it easier for the body's core temperature to drop, which is needed to be able to fall asleep. The body reaches its lowest temperature about 4 hours after a person falls asleep. Researchers have found that when the hands and feet are warm it causes blood vessels to dilate and heat to escape and body temperature to decrease, which could help a person to fall asleep faster.

Increasing the amount of starchy carbohydrates in your diet, such as cereal, pasta, and potatoes, can increase the ability of sleep causing amino tryptophan in the blood, which increases serotonin. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as bread, bagels, and crackers, can have a mild effect on sleep.

It can help to develop a regular sleep and wake schedule. That would mean going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday so that your body would regulate itself to fall asleep asleep at a certain time and wake up at a certain time.

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