Restore Your Sleep Cycle
By YaShekia King
A healthy sleep cycle will help you to feel refreshed
Sleep is important, as it actually helps the body to cope with stress. The body prepares for sleep at night by secreting the hormone melatonin into the bloodstream, which causes the body to experience a decrease in temperature and alertness, according to Relaxation-at-Home.com. Meanwhile, during the day, light from the sun actually prevents the production of melatonin. Traveling to another time zone or even working at night versus during the day can cause a disruption of your body's natural sleep cycle. However, just a few steps can help you to restore your sleep cycle effectively.
Eat whole foods such as fruits and vegetables and take a multivitamin. Stay away from highly refined foods and heavily processed foods, according to Neurogistics.com. This is critical for helping you to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which will help to prevent sleep cycle issues.
In addition, avoid eating at least 12 hours before you plan to wake up. Otherwise, if you eat right before bedtime, your body's internal clock will assume that the time you broke your fast--which is where the term "breakfast" comes from--is a new "morning" even though you are really planning to hit the sack, according to ParentingSquad.com. However, if you want to drink something before bedtime, try calming herbal teas such as chamomile or passion fruit.
Practice yoga, belly breathing or prayer and meditation. Yoga actually incorporates breathing exercises and meditation. These activities can help reduce stress and result in more restful sleep, in addition to helping you to fall asleep more quickly and sleep longer.
Get about seven or eight hours of sleep each day. This means you should avoid sleeping in for an extra one or two hours on the weekends or on your days off. Sleeping in makes transitioning to your regular wake-up time on your next workday more difficult for your body.
Sleep in a dark room, or use curtains, blinds or shades to block out light if your work schedule forces you to sleep during the day. In addition, open your curtains when you wake up to let sunshine in, or turn on the lights in your room. This triggers your body to adjust its biological clock for a new day.
Purchase and use natural supplements such as phosphatidyl serine, which helps to restore your biological clock by reducing stress, according to HolisticOnline.com. In addition, talk to your doctor about other options such as acupuncture--an alternative medicine option that involves using needles to stimulate various pressure points on the body. Acupuncture actually could help to spike the level of nighttime melatonin and help reduce anxiety to improve the quality of your sleep.
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