6 Ways To Sleep Through The Night

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  • By Robin Westen

    For many of us, sleeping through the night is so rare that when it happens it feels like a dream come true. Unfortunately, missing out on sound zzzz’s can leave us feeling physically and emotionally drained during our waking hours. But sleep experts suggest you can prepare yourself for uninterrupted sleep by making changes during the daylight hours. Here's what you need to do:
  • Stay Involved Social activities, family, and work can keep your activity level up and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. It can also help you to stop ruminating about what can’t be changed by taking action. Try volunteering, joining a seniors’ group, or taking an adult education class.
  • Deal With Worry As most of have experienced, anxiety can keep us tossing and turning. You can reduce sleep problems by dealing with the root of your stress during the day. Talk to someone about your worries and concerns.
  • Exercise Exercise releases endorphins that can boost mood and reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
  • Catch The Rays Bright sunlight helps regulate melatonin and your sleep-wake cycles. Try to get at least two hours of sunlight every day. Keep curtains and shades open wide and rearrange furniture so your favorite place to lounge around is in a sunny area of your home.
  • Take Care Of Yourself Reduce or eliminate caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. All these stimulants have been shown to interrupt a night’s sleep. Also, try to eat dinner at least three hours before you’re bedding down and avoid big meals and spicy foods.
  • Maintain A Consistent Sleep Schedule Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends when you may be tempted to snooze longer.

    About The Author

    Robin Westen is ThirdAge’s medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her newest book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is “V Is For Vagina.” It will be published in February 2012.