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How to get better sleep

If you’re not commuting, it’s easy to spend the entire morning indoors. However, exposure to sunlight has an important purpose. It blocks the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. “Most of the morning fog in the brain is caused by continued melatonin secretion,” said Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of The Power of When. “When the sun hits your eyes, it signals your brain to stop the melatonin faucet.” Get in the sun for at least 15 minutes each morning for the first time.

By working from home, I sometimes work in bed, so the line between work and sleep has almost disappeared. However, turning a mattress into an office can lead to insomnia, as the brain sees the bed as a place to increase stress and attention. Therefore, sleep experts say that you only need to book a bed for two activities. “Bed is sleeping or having sex,” said Dr. Rosen. “If you’re not doing either, get out of bed. It’s even better if you have the luxury of going to another room. You have to break the association of what’s happening in bed.”

The pandemic has led people to refrain from physical activity. But exercise is the easiest way to improve sleep, Dr. Breus said. “Sleep is recovery,” he added. “Sleep isn’t that great if there’s nothing to recover.” At least 29 studies Daily exercise, regardless of type or intensity, has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and stay sleep longer, especially among middle-aged and older people. According to the Sleep FoundationFor people with chronic insomnia, starting an exercise routine can help them fall asleep about 13 minutes faster and get up to 20 minutes of sleep per night. One caveat: Stop exercising at least 4 hours before bedtime. Otherwise, core body temperature may rise and sleep may be disturbed, Dr. Breus said.

Caffeine has a half-life of 6 to 8 hours and a half-life of about 12 hours. So even if you drink coffee at 4 pm, “there is still a quarter of the caffeine left in your brain at 4 am,” says Dr. Breus. Avoiding caffeine at night is easy. However, ideally, caffeine should be avoided after 2 pm. This will give your body enough time to metabolize and excrete most of the caffeine from your body.

If you drink alcohol, limit it to two drinks at night and stop at least 3 hours before bedtime. Alternate each drink with a glass of water. Alcohol has a sedative effect, so some people drink nightcaps to help them fall asleep faster. However, alcohol suppresses REM sleep and causes sleep disorders. Overall quality of sleep. “The closer you get to bedtime, the worse your sleep gets,” says Dr. Breus.

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Insomnia attacks don’t have to worry. However, if changing your sleep habits doesn’t improve anything, it may be time to see a doctor. Sleep professionals can determine if cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, or another treatment is needed. Or you may have a sleep disorder such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea. Your doctor will evaluate and examine you.

If you need help, please visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website. sleepeducation.orgGo to and enter your zip code to find a local sleep specialist or sleep provider. “Don’t suffer silently,” said Dr. Abbasi-Feinberg. “Ask for help if you need it. Sleep specialists are everywhere, so we’re here for that.”

How to get better sleep

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