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Well, I just read yet another research study(Cohen, Brigham and Young women's Hospital, Boston),  reminding us what we all know.  Lack of sleep is a bad thing.  According to this study, a 24-hour lack of sleep produces reactions similar to those when we have a blood alcohol level of .10.  Yipes.  Imagine that on the road.  But seriously, the study also reinforced the old belief that we cannot "make up" sleep.  When it comes to sleep, what's gone is gone.  

The truth is, we all can get caught up in not having enough sleep.  It is so easy to squeeze in one more chore, to watch one more show on TV, and that doesn't even account for the epidemic of sleep disorders in our country.  Well, sleep is important and here are some simple tactics to get you the rest you need.  These are tried and true, what they use in big-time sleep clinics.  So, if you suffer from a lack of sleep, find out the cause and give these strategies a try.

The Cause  

You have to start by figuring out why you aren't getting enough sleep.  Can't sleep?  Waking up in the middle of the night?  Just not stopping your day?  

Just not stopping your day  

Guilty!  That's my M.O.  If this is the case, if you are expert at taking care of others but fail when it comes to good old you, try these tools.

1.Set a time for your chores/ work to end.  Discipline yourself to stick to your commitment.
2.Unwind time. Set up unwind time for yourself at a decent hour. If you are crawling into bed at 11pm, have to wake at 6 and are all keyed up and need to watch a video.... Not good!
3.Stop yourself in your tracks if you are obsessing.  Remind yourself to think of you and relax!

Can't sleep?  

If you struggle with getting to sleep, try these tools.
1.No heavy exercise before bed.
2.A light snack, but no big meals before bed.
3.Give yourself transition time to unwind. No TV or cell phones! And no work, either.
4.Use your bedroom only for sleep, relaxation and sex. You don't want to associate your bedroom with the stressors of life.
5.Assess your room for temperature, light and sound.

Early morning awakening or waking up in the middle of the
night  

If you find yourself waking in the middle of the night, restless, obsessing and unable to fall back asleep, try these.
1.You should practice sleep hygiene, which includes all the things written above.
2.Keep a note pad and paper next to the bed. Write down all the "to do's" that are racing around in your head.
3.Don't drink! Too much alcohol leads to fragmented sleep as in passing out like a log and waking up restless in the middle of the night.
4.Consider getting a light snack.
5.Don't drink too many fluids before bed.

Give these a go and see how much your sleep improves.  And don't forget to share your sleep tips in the comments section!

Check out my site at simplyputtogether.com for more free tips and have a great week!

Maria




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