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6 things to help you sleep at night

The importance of good sleep cannot be understated. There are a handful of simple, easily implemented strategies you can employ to ensure proper rest, writes Dr Marc Cohen.

When one faces stress-related sleeplessness, there are six things you can do to help you fall asleep at night.

Mindfulness meditation

This is one of the most powerful tools for improving your sleep, according to research. It involves focusing on your breathing or a particular sound or word, e.g. “Om”. It is a practice in bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – the thoughts that can cause stress. Practice daily for 20 minutes.

Ditch your phone

The blue light emitted by screens on digital devices can suppress the production of melatonin – the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle – and may keep your brain alert by keeping your mind engaged. Give yourself at least 30 minutes of gadget-free transition time before going to bed.

Move more

Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers – and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Try some herbal relief

A herbal combination known as Ze 91019 can help reset the sleep cycle. It has been clinically shown to help re-establish healthy sleep patterns within two weeks as well as increase the time spent in the deeper, restorative stages of the sleep cycle so you can wake refreshed.

Limit caffeine

Try to avoid having caffeine after lunchtime. Research has shown that caffeine consumed even six hours before bedtime resulted in significantly diminished sleep quality and sleep quantity.

Keep a nightly to-do list

Taking five minutes to write a to-do list before going to bed (as opposed to writing a list of things you have accomplished) can help decrease the worry cycle, according to recent research.

Dr Marc Cohen is a registered medical practitioner with degrees in western medicine, physiology and psychological medicine along with PhDs in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering.

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