9 Tips for Better Sleep

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I love to sleep. 8.5 hours and I am full of energy and ready to take on the day, complete with a morning workout.  It’s sleep awareness week.  I use to have trouble sleeping back in 2008.  I took Ambien, Advil PM, Tylenol PM.  I couldn’t sleep with the use of over the counter sleep aids. Plus I felt irritable and hung over in the AM. With Jet Lag from international travel, coast to coast time changes and red eyes, I needed to perform as an athlete and make my appearances and train.  I read sleep books, I asked doctors. I asked friends who were athletes and successful in business. I finally went to a sleep institute.  After two weeks I learned how to take care of my health and I learned how to sleep and how to turn off my brain.  I’m no doctor, but here’s what works for me.
I don’t always sleep well. But I have overcome the label “I’m not a good sleeper.”  Friends make fun of me when I say goodnight at 8 o’clock.  I’m asleep by 10 o’clock, but I wake up at 5:30 am with boundless energy.  Here are the things that have worked for me.  Please share what things help you get the right amount of sleep in the comments!
1.  Figure out how many hours of sleep you really need to feel good.  Is it 4, 6, 9 hours?  It varies person to person, so find out what works for you!
2.  No heavy talks or working within 2 hours of going to bed.  Use the day time for problem solving and resolving issues.  For me, the cutoff is 7pm.
3.  Have a night time routine before bed.  Mine includes taking a bath, laying out clothes, water, snacks for the next day.  I also set time aside for vanity and dental hygiene.
4.  I take 5mg of Melatonin.  This brand is what I take and love.
5.  Stretch before you go to sleep.  10 minutes makes a huge difference for my back and my brain.
6.  Stop caffeine use 8 hours before bedtime.
7.  Keep the lights low one hour before bed.  Relaxing music, or watching something calm on tv is good.  Try and stay away from the News and violent tv shows!
8.  Find a sleep meditation to practice if you have trouble falling asleep.  Here’s a good podcast to checkout!
9.  Stay in bed for at least 7 to 9 hours.  Whatever is ideal for you.  Even if you can’t sleep, stay in bed.  Read a book, watch a relaxing tv show, and let your body rest.  Try these sheets on Amazon.  They are affordable, comfortable and hypoallergenic.  I love having nice sheets on my bed, it makes laying in bed more enjoyable.
Stick with it!  Commit to good sleep habits for a month.  The biggest change for me was letting my brain rest.  Let me know what works for you!
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