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Not getting a good night’s sleep is bad enough the first time that happens. However, when it continues over days, weeks, months and even years it will have a detrimental effect on your health which includes a weakened immune system that makes you more vulnerable to disease. In addition, there are a number of other detrimental effects that long term sleep deprivation can bring;
You will need to create a place in which sleep is encouraged. That means shutting down all the lights and light sources so that your optic nerves are not activated during the night. Even a small amount of light can trigger your optic nerve and affect the production of melatonin which is a hormone that affects your body’s sleeping patterns. You can wear a sleeping mask or use “blackout” drapes that completely cut out the light from the windows, cover with black tape all the little light sources such as the power lights on the devices in your room. The more darkness you can provide, the better your sleep should be. In addition, you will want to eliminate any distracting noises in the room as well. However, if you live in a noisy neighborhood for example, if can be difficult to eliminate them. Quite often, using a soothing, consistent noise such as a fan for example can drown out the little noises that can interfere with your sleep. Also, you should not have a television in your bedroom as that can be a real sleep-killer. If you have to have a TV, be sure to shut it off well ahead of your sleep time so that you can get the most rest possible.
We tend to sleep better between the temperatures of 60 to 68 degrees as it properly encourages the body to drift way into unconsciousness. Temperatures above 70 degrees are not recommended as it starts to become too hot for the body to be comfortable while temperatures below 60 get too chilly for comfort as well. However, you can wear socks to bed as this can help alleviate the cold and even out the temperature of the body. In this manner, you can get a better, deeper sleep.
You will need to watch what you eat and drink before bedtime as it can affect your sleep pattern. Food is a fuel for the body and eating late at night can interfere with your sleep patterns. However, having your body properly hydrated is important when trying to get a good night’s sleep, just be careful that you don’t drink too much otherwise you’ll find yourself waking up to go to the bathroom. You should stop drinking caffeinated products several hours before bedtime to ensure that they are out of your system. While alcohol is often credited for helping people get to sleep, it does interrupt sleep patterns and thus is not worth drinking before going to bed. As far as eating goes, you should only eat a light dinner and avoid foods such as sugars, pasteurized dairy products and grains which can interrupt your sleep patterns as well by causing some gastrointestinal distress like bloating or gas which can keep you awake.
Create a Nightly Routine and Stick to It
Basically, you will need to create a nightly routine that you follow for each and every night in order to establish a proper sleep pattern. For example, about a half hour before you are ready to go to sleep for the night do an activity that causes you to relax such as taking a hot bath or reading a light book. Then go to bed on time each and every night so that your body will get into the habit of falling asleep at a particular time. Remember, you are shooting for at least eight hours of sleep each and every night. So you’ll want to pad the time on either side probably by a half-hour each to ensure that you are fully relaxed and getting enough sleep. It doesn’t take long for the pattern to set in so that you wake up naturally at the same time each morning.
Essentially, you’ll want to train your body to go to sleep and wake up at about the same time. This means that you should not need an alarm clock once you have regained your natural sleep rhythms. Besides, waking up slowly and naturally is far better than being jolted out of a pleasing dream by a loud alarm clock. If you must use an alarm clock early on, try one that gently wakes you up and not one that is so loud it knocks you out of bed. That way, you can at least catch up on your sleep more naturally which will in turn be quite helpful when you stop using the alarm clock. You will need to establish the same pattern for weekends as you do weekdays. Your body does not know the difference between a work day and a weekend, so by waking up at the same time every day you can establish sleep pattern that will be with you for the rest of your life.