Friday, August 14, 2009

Relaxation Day?

I guess there is a Hallmark Card for every occasion or an occasion for every Hallmark Card. Anyway, I have been informed that August 15 is Relaxation Day. (Good thing it's on a Sat. this year.)

As I was thinking about relaxing with a glass of wine tonight (which would actually be celebrating the day a little early...) I thought about how relaxing during the day is important but how truly necessary it is for us to relax at night. Have you thought about the quality of your sleep? Here are some tips to make sure you're able to experience true rest and relaxation every night.

* Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. This helps reinforce your body's sleep schedule.

*Keep your bedroom for sleeping and romance. It should be cool, dark and comfortable.
Not a good idea to watch tv in bed.

*No large meals in the evening, but keep the blood sugar level up with a light carbohydrate snack. If you're prone to heartburn, avoid spicy or fatty foods, which can make your heartburn flare and prevent a restful sleep. Also, limit how much you drink before bed. Too much liquid can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night for trips to the bathroom.

*Go to bed when you're tired and turn out the lights. If you don't fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, get up and do something else. Go back to bed when you're tired and feel ready to fall asleep quickly.

*Don't sleep the day away.Daytime naps may steal hours from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to about a half-hour and make it during midafternoon.

*Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful. However, don't exercise within 3 hours of bedtime; you may find it more difficult to fall asleep.

*The Right Sleep Position. The position that is least stressful on your body is sleeping on your back, ideally with a pillow tucked under your knees. Bent knees support the lower spine. The next best position is sleeping on your side with a pillow tucked between your knees. The worst position is sleeping on your stomach because you have to turn your head to either side to breathe. This stresses your neck and spine. It's hard to change how you sleep but it can be done.

Sleep is an essential activity for normal body and brain functioning. Although our sleep needs vary, most people need 6-7 hours of sleep. There are more than 70 known sleep disorders and many people don't even know they suffer from these. If you suspect that you or someone you sleep with has a problem you should consult your doctor.

For more tips on quality sleep check out this site:
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