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How To Improve Your Sleeping Habits (by Private)

Did you know we spend about one third of our lives sleeping? So how come you always feel tired? Sleep is a very important part of our lives, but it may be hard for some of you to get that good nights sleep. 

Why is sleep important?
Sleep is vital in the growth and development of our bodies. When we sleep we are giving our bodies and brains the time to rest and conserve energy after working hard all day, by decreasing our blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and overall body temperature. This helps the body in many ways, including controlling metabolism, brain function and memory, repairing cells and keeping current ones healthy, and keeping that immune system up and running so you can better fight off infections/viruses. 

It is recommended that teens (14-18) get between 8-10 hours of sleep a day and adults (18-64) get 7-9 hours of sleep to function daily. When you are regularly losing out on sleep, it starts to add up and accumulate what is known as "sleep debt". In order to get a "good night sleep" you'll have to catch up on the missed sleep, or sleep debt, that you have the next night or it's just going to start piling on and this is where you start seeing the long term effects on your body. 

Lack of sleep can effect many things in your body. Some are more immediate and dangerous, like driving while sleep deprived (which you should not do! Pull over and take a nap if you must) while some have a negative effect over time. Some of the things lack of sleep can cause or effect are:
- memory and the ability to focus
- anxiety, depression, and issues effecting mental health
- excessive tiredness and moodiness
- cognitive thinking
- performance at work

In the end, it is important to get the sleep you need in order to grow and keep your body working to its full potential. Check out the rest of this article for some tips and tricks on how to better improve your sleeping habits. 
You've learned why it's important to sleep but now you're at a loss of what to do next. Let's learn how to fall asleep faster so you aren't wasting valuable sleeping time by trying to fall asleep. 

- Turn the temperature down. Your body temperature changes as you sleep and you may find it difficult to sleep when you feel too warm, especially during those hot summer months. Changing the temperature just a few degrees can help you be comfortable. You can also try taking a hot shower or bath before bed to cool your body down. 
- Go to bed the same time every day. This helps your body get into a schedule and know "Hey look it's 10pm, time to sleep!" When we go to bed at different times, it confuses your body and you may find it harder to wind down as it doesn't know when it's supposed to be shutting down. 
- Going outside during the day. Your body has something called the "Circadian Rhythm". This basically tells the body when it's time to make melatonin (the hormone that is vital to sleep). Exposing yourself to the sunlight during the day by going outside helps sets your circadian rhythm and helps the body know to produce melatonin at night. 
- Avoid naps during the day. I know, naps are great, and sometimes they can be beneficial to give yourself that boost to get you through the rest of the day. Short naps (about 20-30 mins) can be good if you need them, but long naps (two+ hours) and taking naps later in the evening can lead to poor sleeping at night when you actually want to sleep. 
- Exercise during the day. Exercising can help boost the production of serotonin (the hormone that contributes to well being and happiness) and decreases the production of cortisol (the hormone that contributes to stress) Don't go overboard though. Just do a low to moderate work out.
- Turn off electronics. Yes, especially your phone.  We are all guilty of lying in bed on our phones for sometimes hours before we actually fall asleep. Using your phone and other electronics while in bed can greatly effect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep (see below). While it may be hard, try limiting the amount you use your phone before going to bed. 
- Don't drink caffeine before bed. They say you shouldn't drink caffeine at least 6 hours before bed. Tea is a great alternative, but avoid black teas as they have high caffeine levels. Check our this article for a list of "The 6 Best Bedtime Teas That Help You Sleep"
Ok, so you've learned to fall asleep faster and now you're out like a light, but you still feel like you're not getting the sleep you need to fully function. Check out these tips and try a few of them out!

- Don't hit the snooze button. We are all guilty for doing it, but did you know hitting the snooze button confuses your circadian rhythm so it's hard to wake up feeling refreshed? I know it's hard, but try to get up the first time your alarm goes off. It may feel awful and tiring at first but your body will thank you later.
- Turn on the lights/open blinds. When you first wake up, turn on those lights or open those blinds. The light will help your body adjust better to being awake and you'll be less likely to crawl back in to bed and hit that snooze button again. 
- Stretch. Stretching can get your blood flowing and loosen those tight muscles, after all they've just spent 8 hours (hopefully) resting and could really use a wake up call. It can also increase your flexibility and endurance for the day, which, if you're like me, could really help that clumsiness of yours. 
- Drink water before coffee. If you generally start your day off with some caffeine, that's ok! It's better to start off with a glass of water before though so you can stay hydrated and kick start your sleeping metabolism. 
- Eat a good breakfast. How many times a week do you skip out on breakfast? If you answered at least once, chances are you aren't feeling very well rested! It's important to eat a good breakfast filled with protein. Don't have enough time in the morning to make breakfast? You can make some good "grab and go" breakfast foods the night before, or even a few days before and freeze them!
- Track your sleep. Tracking your sleep, whether in a journal or using a sleep app can help you see patterns in your sleeping habits and see what areas you can improve on. This will help you stick to a schedule and make sure you are getting enough sleep to keep yourself energized.

I hope some of these ideas help you out. You don't have to do them all at once and you may not see results right away. Try introducing things one at a time and see how it works for you. Everyone is different! I hope you enjoyed this article. 

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Comment on the article How To Improve Your Sleeping Habits.
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AlinaJayda wrote on 10-11 08:39:
AlinaJayda wrote:
Btw not only caffeine is bad before bed, but also alcohol and sleeping medication will affect your sleep structure very badly. 
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AlinaJayda wrote on 10-11 08:37:
AlinaJayda wrote:
Also your body can recover some of the sleep debt on its own. REM sleep will just get longer. But sleep hygiene is very important indeed. 
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Private wrote on 10-11 08:00:
Felicity wrote:
very nice article!! i LOVE it.
this is all very true and correct information. sleep hygiene is super important and fixes many sleep problems.
the best thing you can do for your sleep is be consistent and follow the sleep hygiene rules. 
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Godis wrote on 07-11 20:15:
Godis wrote:
Very good article and a nice layout!
I try to go to bed at the same time every day, but some days like when I have karate doesn't exactly work out that schedule.I fall asleep quickly, but wake up too early.I switch off all electronics at least 1h before bedtime.
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Catroar wrote on 07-11 12:52:
Catroar wrote:
I'm glad there's one thing i don't have any problem with, falling asleep since im always so tired 
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Private wrote on 07-11 10:16:
Meowmere wrote:
Hypoxic wrote:
As a kid I was told not to eat cheese before bed because I would have nightmares..... just some food for thought ; )

Fab article though, proud of you sarah ♡
I've heard that milk improves sleeping
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Siri wrote on 07-11 01:02:
Siri wrote:
Meanwhile i go to sleep at 9am and wake up 9pm 
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Private wrote on 06-11 22:16:
Rochellette wrote:
My mother taught me to pray before sleep when I was a kid and it's like a mantra to me I do it and a feel good doing it so it helps me to relax and sleep (But I only sleep 4 or 5 hours because I have sleeping problems)

This article is really helpful , the clouds background and the colors are so calm, I hope we have it in all the site
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Near wrote on 06-11 21:41:
Near wrote:
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MasileinDE wrote on 06-11 21:41:
MasileinDE wrote:
Want to know the epitome of irony?

I'm reading this instead of going to sleep even though I know I should start getting up early again because I have classes to attend to.

(Brilliant article though, good reminder to actually do the good things I knew about but kept pushing to the back of my mind because my bed has abandonment issues... - or, maybe I do, who knows)
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Photosynthesis wrote on 06-11 21:01:
Photosynthesis wrote:
Azriel wrote:
DoN't HiT tHe SnOoZe BuTtOn
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Private wrote on 06-11 21:00:
Azriel wrote:
DoN't HiT tHe SnOoZe BuTtOn
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Libertas wrote on 06-11 20:26:
Libertas wrote:
Hypoxic wrote:
As a kid I was told not to eat cheese before bed because I would have nightmares..... just some food for thought ; )

Fab article though, proud of you sarah ♡
Really?? O.o
Is that some sort of English saying because I have never heard of it haha but it sounds really interesting lol
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Photosynthesis wrote on 06-11 20:19:
Photosynthesis wrote:
Hypoxic wrote:
As a kid I was told not to eat cheese before bed because I would have nightmares..... just some food for thought ; )

Fab article though, proud of you sarah ♡
I've heard of that too. Wonder if it's true.
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Private wrote on 06-11 19:38:
Hypoxic wrote:
As a kid I was told not to eat cheese before bed because I would have nightmares..... just some food for thought ; )

Fab article though, proud of you sarah ♡
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Private wrote on 06-11 18:50:
Chlorine wrote:
A really interesting article! Love the layouting as always 
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Libertas wrote on 06-11 18:42:
Libertas wrote:
Really interesting but I'm not sure if I'm ready to stop snoozing 
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Private wrote on 06-11 18:40:
Ella wrote:
the sloth on my frontpage makes me happy, haha its so silly.. but its so cute
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Photosynthesis wrote on 06-11 18:32:
Photosynthesis wrote:
I hope you enjoy :)

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