A topic that seems to surface almost constantly on social media, at the water cooler, family parties, or anywhere that people gather, is sleep. Many people feel that they don't get enough sleep, but find it hard to get to sleep at night, or they wake up during the night and can't get back to sleep. Many of us also know that some of our daily habits can cause this lack of sleep, but we still don't attempt to change!

Sleep is important - we all know that. When we don't get enough sleep, not only does it make us grumpy and out of sorts, but chronic lack of sleep can cause memory issues, premature wrinkling, and even interfere with our ability to metabolize our foods, affecting weight gain/loss. Yikes! 

Prolonged lack of sleep can also disrupt your immune system, causing you to catch every cold that floats past your nose. 

If you are one of the estimated 1 in 3 Americans that don't get enough sleep, here are a few tips:

  1. Turn off your computer, TV, etc., an hour before bedtime! This is important, yet most people that I know don't take advantage of this simple tip. For your own health and safety, please consider doing this.
  1. Have a regular bedtime. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This is another difficult one for many people.
  1. Eating a big meal less than two hours before bed is going to make your body work too hard at digesting that meal to be able to concentrate on sleep. So, if you know you'll be arriving home late, plan a larger lunch and have a small, lighter meal when you get home. 
  1. Getting plenty of exercise during the day (not before bed) also helps the body to sleep better at night.
  1. And here's a quick breathing exercise that can help you get to sleep. Give it a try for five minutes before bed tonight, and let me know how it worked for you!

Best of Health,

Kathi

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