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Top Ten Ways to Enhance the Quality of Your Sleep

Written by Danielle Travali.

Everything you do throughout the day has an impact on the quality of your nightly sleep. A good night’s sleep is highly necessary if you want to be healthy, happy and successful. Keep in mind that people have different sleep needs. Know yours.

The average adult should get about eight hours of sleep per night, but the key is to get good quality sleep. One way is to relax. Here are ten great ways to do this:

Stop your mind from racing

Many of us think we can’t control our anxieties, worries and fears. But actually, you have more control over your mind than you probably think! The key is to control your anxiety and check it at the door before you fall asleep. If you calm your body, chances are that you can also calm your mind. So, just let it go. When you are super-organized and thinking too much before bed, you can easily lose sleep. Allow thoughts about work, chores and to-do lists to fade for the evening. Remember, if the quality of your sleep is very good, you can awaken with a clear head and be able to accomplish the things you were too tired and stressed to do the night before.

Leave electronics out of the bedroom

such as TV, your cell phones, computer, or any other distractions that might prevent you from relaxing the brain and body. Your bedroom should not be for entertainment and mental stimulation; it should be exclusively for sleep and sex.

Keep a flashlight handy or have a nightlight

If you do have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, use a flashlight or a nightlight instead of the overhead lights or bright lamps. This way, it will be much easier for you to fall back asleep and the light won’t hurt your eyes.

Have a comfortable bed

You want to sleep through the whole night and not have to get up with a sore back in the middle of the night. Be sure to choose a bed that's right for you. Testing out the feel of different mattresses before you buy one is never a bad idea.

Purchase good quality sheets and pillows

Soft, high-thread count cotton sheets and comfortable pillows may cost you more, but the soft, luxurious feel they'll leave you with is definitely worth the price.

Set your thermostat to a comfortably warm temperature

Most people will remain awake throughout the night if they're shivering in a cold room. But you don't want to wake up sweating, either. Set a temperature that's perfect for your body's needs. Only you know your perfect core temperature. One technique is to set the temperature slightly lower than your preference, your body uses falling temperature as a cue that it's time to sleep and this may help you fall asleep faster.

Create a positive, soothing physical appearance

Light blues, purples, and pastel colors are soothing on the eyes and can leave you with a more relaxed feel. Be sure to avoid extremely loud colors and wild prints, as this could interfere with your ability to relax when you need to. The atmosphere of your bedroom should be warm, cheerful and comforting rather than cold, dark and depressing. Be sure to keep only positive artwork and literature in your bedroom. You want to feel only love and peace in your sleep environment.

Put together a sleep kit

This will help you relax when it's time to go to bed. Include an eye mask, noise reduction devices such as earplugs or a sound machine, magazines light in subject matter (for those of you who need something to read before bedtime). Some people also like to spray some lavender linen spray on their pillows, as this tends to calm the mind and soothe the senses as well.

Know how caffeine affects you

Too much caffeine can interfere with your sleep by causing your heart and mind to race. Some people are sensitive to caffeine and others are not. Having it too close to bedtime may not be a good idea. If you absolutely must have some caffeine, try to take it earlier in day, and use it sparingly. Multiple cups of coffee or te a may interfere with sleep later in the night because of the high caffeine content. Try a cup of chamomile tea before bed to help you relax--it’s caffeine free and has a mild flavor.

Avoid fluids before bedtime

This could result in several trips to the bathroom throughout the night. We hope these top ten sleep tips helped. Remember that adequate sleep time is absolutely essential to your health and personal success. Everything you can do to enhance these eight hours of the evening is extremely vital to your overall wellbeing! So next time you're obsessing over that term paper and haven't slept in days, consider the possibility that it might turn out much better if you rest up and start again in the morning.

Danielle Travali, MS
Danielle Travali, MS

Danielle Travali, also known to many as the Web and television personality "Holly Pinafore," is a journalist, entrepreneur, and food & wine enthusiast. She is a certified food coach, stress management coach and fitness trainer who studied mindful eating and food psychology. Danielle also holds a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac Un.. Read more

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