Rest Easy

Newsflash: Most people need eight hours of sleep a night to function properly, and lack of sleep can be extremely detrimental to your health. Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t exactly a newly discovered health tip, but insomnia is still an ongoing problem. Although you may think you are doing the right things to fall asleep, there are probably some factors you haven’t yet thought of that could be preventing you from the quality of sleep you can only dream of (pun intended).

What you do during the day as well as in the 45minutes before bed can impact how well you sleep. There’s a reason that the classic tradition of reading to children after their evening bath has never become outdated: routine. Adults as well as children should have a bedtime routine. Evening rituals help tell your brain that it is ready for sleep. A warm shower, reading, meditation and prayer are all parts of the bedtime ritual that can help ease your mind into a twilight state. Despite following these practices, many people complain of difficulty falling asleep.

A major contributor to quality sleep is exercise. Exercise right before bed is not recommended (unless it is sexytime exercise). Experts suggest allowing at least an hour and a half between rigorous activity and bedtime. Yoga, however, can often help a restless person into a more relaxed state before bed. Stretching and gentle yoga poses are highly recommended as it can lower blood pressure and eradicate negative thoughts that can disturb your sleep.

Finally, what you may not realize, is that your handy laptop may be responsible for keeping you awake. So many people have replaced reading or mediation by blogging, chatting, and working on their laptops right before bed. While it seems the convenience of watching your favorite reruns on the computer at night might help someone relax, it actually does the opposite. The bright light suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that tells the brain to sleep.

Is your computer keeping you awake?

All of this being said, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of reasons why you may have trouble sleeping, and you may want to consult a doctor if your insomnia is serious. But if you love to relax with your iPad or laptop at night, try to put that activity to rest (no pun intended) and switch up your yoga routine! Try an easy yoga ritual at night instead of only during the day, and the results may surprise you. Last but not least, save sheep for the wool sweaters in your closet, not your bedroom (counting sheep just doesn’t work).

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