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Struggling? Try More Sleep!

Do you know anyone who actually sleeps 7 or 8 hours a night regularly? Not many I bet. Let's face it, we are a sleep-deprived nation, which is sad because to feel and be our best a good night's sleep needs to be a priority.
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Do you often feel exhausted by mid-afternoon? Find yourself drinking coffee or pop all day to keep going? Having trouble losing weight? Maybe you even pride yourself on "how little" sleep you need.

I bet the real reason you are struggling every day is that you aren't getting enough sleep. Most of us need 7 to 8 hours a night. Yes, a few people can get by with less, but not the majority.

Do you know anyone who actually sleeps 7 or 8 hours a night regularly? Not many I bet.

Let's face it, we are a sleep-deprived nation, which is sad because to feel and be our best a good night's sleep needs to be a priority.

Unless you have sleep issues, getting a good night's rest can often be improved simply by changing bad habits such as...

  • Too much caffeine too late in the day
  • Screen time
  • Doing "one more thing"

Let's tackle ways to combat those bad habits:

Too much caffeine. I get it, I love my coffee too, but one/maybe two cups in the morning is sufficient. Really craving an iced coffee mid-afternoon? Your afternoon latte may very well just be a habit that with a little work you can change. My first recommendation would be to take a walk or a 10-minute reading break instead. If you still crave your drink, then go for the decaf or better yet, some sparkling water. Limiting your caffeine after two o'clock will help improve your sleep -- even if you think caffeine doesn't affect you.

Screen time. How common is it to watch TV right up until we fall asleep (often with the TV still on)? A recent study shows that screen time just before bed can affect your quality of sleep. Turn off the TV 30 minutes before you plan to fall asleep and read a book or (gasp) have a conversation with your spouse. Remember, phones count as screen time too!

Doing one more thing and end up staying up too late. I am guilty of this more often than I'd like to admit. Some days it feels like 10:00, when everyone else is in bed, is the only time I can do all those little nagging projects I want to accomplish each day. If this is your issue, I have an easy solution. Set an alarm on your phone for 30 minutes (do this an hour before you'd like to go to bed). Spend that 30 minutes getting "stuff" done and then when the bell rings, stop. Spend your next 30 minutes getting ready for bed.

Conduct some experiments this week and see if you can figure out YOUR bad habits, then come up with a new, improved habit. Share in the comments your ideas, and let's help each other get the rest we need to create a healthier, happier life!