Sleep is so important for our mental and physical health in ways that we are still just beginning to understand as new research develops. We know there are complex interactions of neurotransmitters and functioning of the brain, spinal cord, neurons, and chemicals in the bloodstream involved in our sleep cycle. Five stages of sleep show different wavelengths of electrical activity in the brain and different areas of the brain shut down and some are still active. During stage 5 Rapid Eye Movement occurs and dreaming.

Tips

Sleeping with the sundown to sunup is better for good rest.

Set a schedule of when you sleep and stick to it as much as you can. This helps your internal clock or sleep cycle to kick in at the right time.

Exercising 20-30 minutes each day can help you to sleep. If you exercise too soon before bedtime this can make it difficult to sleep so try to exercise 5 or 6 hours before bedtime.

Do something relaxing before bed. Take a bath, do some stretching, listen to some music. You can create rituals that your body associates with bedtime and triggers your sleep.

If you can’t fall asleep then do something until you do. If you just lie there then it may cause you anxiety, leading to insomnia. Read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music.

Control your room temperature. When you are asleep your body does not regulate it’s temperature as well.

Information from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institutes of Health.

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