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Having Trouble Getting Enough Sleep?
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Getting enough sleep on a daily basis can be quite a challenge. Who has time with kids, job, friends, church, pets, and everything else? It can be a huge effort just to get six hours of sleep, not alone eight. The good news is that we need less sleep as we get older. It kind of doesn't make sense that when we need less sleep, our kids are raised and we are ready to retire and rest. Aside from scheduling issues, other problems can interfere with sleep. With a few steps we can do what is needed to induce a restful sleep. Give new methods of preparing for sleep at least a few days to see if they work.

Begin with preparation for the night. Start winding down for the night about two hours before bedtime. Turn off the phones, computers, and any other electronics normally used. If you take a shower at night, do so at least an hour before bedtime. Some people find showers invigorating and the water on your eyes may actually increase your awakening state.

Find something that puts you to sleep. Some people find reading keeps them awake because it stimulates thinking. Some people find that reading puts them asleep. The same is true with television viewing. TV makes some people sleepy, and for others it keeps them awake. If it is knitting, drawing, or anything else that pust you in a relaxing sleepy mood, us it to your advantage.

Exercise is good for sleep. Avoid exercising just prior to bedtime, but aside from that, any exercise will do. Even thirty minutes of walking will be enough exercise to help you relax and sleep at night. A nightly stroll no sooner than two hours before bedtime may be quite nice. A morning stroll is great to get your day going. Exercise has other benefits also. Exercise helps your bones, mood, muscles, heart, and almost everything else.

Different foods have different effects on the body. Starches are good for making you feel tired and sleepy. The starches in meals at lunch time are largely responsible for the afternoon slump. If starches make you fatigued and you are having trouble sleeping, get a bowl of oats or grits or slices of bread. Caffeine should be avoided for people having sleeping difficulties. Most advice is to refrain from caffeine four hours prior to bedtime. The advice should be lengthened to at least eight hours. People metabolize drugs at different rates. Caffeine acts on the body much like a drug. That is why people get addicted to it so easily.

White noise helps many people sleep. A sound machine can work wonders for this. The volume needs to be low enough to allow sleep and drown out external noises, but not so loud that you cannot sleep. Sound machines tend to be battery hogs. The health tip is to get a portable one that operates on battery and plugs in. Being portable will allow you to take it with you on vacation and give you more options.

When all else fails, sometimes chemicals are the answer. Some of the best sleep producing chemicals are Benadryl (diphenhydramine), melatonin, and valerian. The choices made can depend on when you need to get to sleep and waken. Diphenhydramine comes in liquid, capsule, and pill form. The liquid form will act faster because your stomach doesn't have to break down the pill. Melatonin is produced by our bodies naturally to induce sleep. With some, the sleep doesn't come and some melatonin helps. Valerian is a sleep aid that helps relaxation. A word of warning is that valerian is metabolized and broken down into valium. It comes with the same warnings of addiction potential and false positive drug tests.

When getting enough sleep is an issue, always check with your physician prior to making any changes in your routine or medications. Medical causes for the inability to sleep need to be looked at and ruled out before anyone changes food, exercise, and medications. Today's health tip is to begin with the easy solutions of scheduling and bedtime preparation routine. For most people this will be enough. Work down the list andif the stage of chemicals is necessary, see your physician as a different approach may be necessary.

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