Simple Steps to Sleep Better and Stress Less
Lifestyle expert Lissa Coffey and Dr. Douglas MacKay offer a few simple tips to sleep better, stress less and live healthy, especially during these worrisome economic times:
1. Sleep soundly. Commit to getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night and keep a consistent sleep-wake schedule. If sleep problems persist, be sure to see a doctor, but also evaluate your bedroom environment and your mattress. If your mattress is uncomfortable, or more than five to seven years old, it could be robbing you of sleep and it might be time to replace it.
2. Eat right. Map out a healthy diet that’s right for you. Consult a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, registered dietitian or naturopath, to help guide your plan and make sure you are getting the right balance of the food groups your body needs, including protein, vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy.
3. Supplement your life. Make sure to take your daily vitamins, starting with a multivitamin, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Other supplements, including melatonin, valerian, 5-HTP and magnesium and calcium, may help promote healthy sleep patterns. Engage your healthcare professional, such as a doctor, registered dietitian or naturopath, in a discussion about which supplements are right for you.
4. Get Active. Commit to at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity five days a week. Work physical activity into your daily routine with three 10-minute sessions for your arms, abdominals and legs. Avoid exercising at least two hours before bedtime.
5. Live life in balance. We all have to work, but leave some time to play, too. Spend time with people you love. Spend time in nature. Do things that you enjoy. A healthy lifestyle means taking care of yourself–body, mind and spirit. Finding balance will help you feel better and sleep better.
For more information on sleeping soundly, tips on how to shop for a mattress or to download the Better Sleep Guide, go to www.bettersleep.org.