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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Gregg

Oh sleep

Oh sleep ... to sleep is perchance to dream .., or is sleep an elusive dream you're not enjoying much these nights?

Sleep is an essential factor in wellness with a lack of adequate sleep leading to mental, emotional and chronic physical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

What Can You Do To Ensure A Quality Night's Rest?

1.Set A Time

Choose a time to go to sleep and make it a consistent time each night during the week. Creating a bed-time ritual will help train your body to relax and prepare itself for sleep.

2.Nix The Alcohol & Caffeine

Limiting your caffeine intake to no later than 6 hours before you go to bed and nightly glass of wine or other alcoholic drink to no more than 3 hours before bed may improve the quality of your sleep.3

Remember, while alcohol may help you fallasleep, it may also cause you to wake up throughout the night. A good alternative to relax naturally in the evening time is a cup of hot herbal tea (without caffeine).

3.No Electronics

Ensure your bedroom is prepared for one thing: sleep! TV's, stereos, mobile phones, tablets and even bright, digital alarm clocks should be kept out of the bedroom.

The artificial light emitted from bright screens and buttons disrupts the body's circadian rhythm (its 24-hour sleep/wake cycle), which can affect brain wave patterns, hormone production, and cell regulation. Disrupting the circadian rhythm has been linked to health issues such as depression, obesity, breast and prostate cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

4.Take A Warm Bath

A pre-bed routine including a warm bath with Epson salts and essential oils, such as calming lavender, can help you with aches, pain and tension4 while relaxing your tired body and mind overall.

5.Try Aromatherapy

Your olfactory system is directly linked to the emotional center in your brain. When you smell something you like, your body releases feel-good, relaxing chemicals that can set the stage for great sleep.

Using essential oils such as lavender, valerian, vanilla, jasmine or any other scent you love can help with relaxation and sense of calm. Mix a few drops of one or more oils with distilled water and use a small spray bottle to spritz your pillow and bed linens. You can also use a quality aromatherapy diffuser in the evening and even while you sleep for continuous dispersion.

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