Enjoy Your Menopause!

March 18, 2009

Good Sleep Equals Good Health

Good sleep equals good health.  That’s the diagnosis from experts at the Comprehensive Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders Center at Baylor Regional Medical Center in California.  Unfortunately, more than half of women report problems with insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “women’s lack of sleep affects nearly every aspect of their time-pressed lives, leaving them late for work, stressed out, tired and with little time for friends.” What’s going on? There are several factors, and all relate to poor sleep hygiene.

1. Too much java
Coffee consumption has jumped dramatically. It’s like a vicious cycle. People drink coffee at night and stay up late watching TV or surfing the Internet. Then they need a jolt at 6 a.m. to get started for the day. Eventually, that takes a toll on the body. Caffeine is a stimulant and it is advised that you refrain from drinking it at least six hours before bed.

2. Stressed out
Are you someone known as a “worry wart?”  Night time is the time some of us start thinking about what we forgot to do, about the kids, work deadlines, unpaid bills, and the economy.  That makes it hard to relax but once your head, your only duty is to sleep.

3. Stay cool
Body temperature lowers about one degree during sleep. Working out too close to bedtime or having an alcoholic night cap is counterproductive—it will take three hours to cool down enough for sleep to take place.  Tossing and turning also has an impact on your body temperature.  Every small amount of exertion consumes energy, which raises the body’s temperature, further delaying sleep.

4. The bottom line
Developing good sleep hygiene can help you avoid relying on medication.  Experts suggest you try the following:

1)  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

2)  Have bedtime ritual.  Thirty minutes before bed turn off loud music, make the atmosphere calm, dim the lights, take a warm (not hot) shower.

3) Read in bed for a maximum of 15 minutes, turn off the lights, close your eyes and relax.

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