Are you having trouble sleeping?

Many New Zealanders suffer from sleeping problems.
If you answer yes to 3 of the following questions, you’re probably sleep deprived:
  1. Do you ever get tired in the middle of the day?
  2. Do you ever wake up with morning back pain?
  3. Do you need an alarm clock to wake up?
  4. Do you hit the snooze button during the week?
  5. Do you have trouble remembering or concentrating?
  6. Do you get tired and stressed out at work?
  7. Do you need a nap to get through the day?
  8. Do you often fall asleep watching TV?
Try some of these tips to help achieve a healthier, more rejuvenating sleep:
  1. Establish a bedtime ritual – it’s helpful for good sleep
  2. Keep your bedroom cool and maintain a relaxing atmosphere
  3. Reduce caffeine intake throughout the day and avoid it altogether four to six hours before bedtime
  4. Stop smoking. Reduce Nicotine intake during the four hours before bed, and don’t have any at least 45 minutes before bed
  5. Reduce stress as much as possible. If you toss and turn, get up. Try and write down all the things that are occupying your mind before you go to bed
  6. Take a warm bath before bed. It will relax your body, a few drops of lavender essential oil will relax your mind
  7. Avoid alcohol near bedtime – it causes you to wake up during the night
  8. Avoid eating late in the evening – a heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes with sleep
  9. Don’t exercise in the late evening – exercise relaxes muscles and aids sleep, but vigorous exercise just before bed may interfere with sleep
  10. Only go to bed only when you are feeling tired. Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep within 10-15 minutes and return when you feel ready for sleep
  11. Establish a regular sleep schedule and avoid napping during the day – it keeps your biological clock going in the right direction
  12. Get continuous sleep. Identify the amount of sleep you need to be fully alert all day, and try to get that amount each night. Make up for lost sleep as soon as possible
  13. Make sure you have quality bedding – a good mattress and supportive pillows will do wonders for your sleep.
Useful articles about sleep:
Sleep and Disease Risk Harvard Medical School Healthy Sleep website “We all have some sense of the relationship between sleep and our ability to function throughout the day. After all, everyone has experienced the fatigue, bad mood, or lack of focus that so often follow a night of poor sleep. What many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep-especially on a regular basis-is associated with long-term health consequences, including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy.” Read the full article here.

Are You and Your Partner Sleep Compatible? WedMD website “Sleep disorders and incompatible nighttime habits can drive couples apart at night. But solutions do exist. Are you and your partner compatible in bed — when it’s time to sleep, we mean? You like to turn in early, snuggled under a pile of blankets in the pitch dark. He’s a night owl, watching TV or reading into the wee hours of the night. When he finally does doze off — oftentimes with the light still glaring — he hardly falls into a restful slumber. Tossing and turning, he balls up the sheets and sometimes kicks them off the bed entirely. Then comes the chain-saw like snoring and sputtering, interspersed with sudden jerky leg movements. As daylight creeps through the blinds, you’re cursing it – and your partner. Sounds like maybe there’s a little sleep incompatibility in your house.” Read the full article here.

When does drowsy turn dangerous? Boston Globe website Are you feeling sleepy right now? Too sleepy to work effectively or drive safely? How do you know? Judging and measuring sleepiness is tricky business. It’s totally subjective and personal — you may feel sleepy and perform poorly with the same hours of shut-eye that leave someone else completely refreshed. So, how little sleep is too little when you’re behind the wheel of a car? An 18-wheeler? A military jet? There are no standards, though people have been convicted of reckless driving for car accidents they caused after pulling an all-nighter. Read the full article here.
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