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Forever Young Naturally Lifestyle
101. A good night s sleep How much do you need
Some people do well on five hours' sleep; others need nine. If you suffer from insomnia and go to bed out of habit rather than tiredness, it may be time to rethink your routine. See what happens if you go to bed an hour later, or if you rise earlier.
102. A good night s sleep Natural rhythms
While on vacation learn about how much sleep you need by going to bed when you feel tired and getting up when you wake naturally. See how it pans out over a week or longer, and reflect on how winter and summer bedtimes and waking times vary.
103. A good night s sleep Don t take problems to bed
Women are more likely than men to lie in bed worrying. Keep a notebook by the bed to jot down concerns or things you just have to remember, then let them go. If you stay up late finishing chores, make a weekly schedule to distribute tasks or cut back to essentials only.
104. A good night s sleep Scheduling sleep
If you crave an extra hour's sleep, but can't fit it into a busy working life, add time incrementally by hitting the sack just 15 minutes earlier. After a week add another 15 minutes. Repeat until a month later you retire one whole hour earlier.
105. A good night s sleep Eat before bed
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety and elevate serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes relaxation. In a recent study, mild insomniacs who ate a tryptophan-rich snack before bed reported more restful sleep and enhanced alertness next morning. Try a small chicken, tuna, or egg sandwich on wholemeal bread (carbs promote sleepiness), a banana, glass of milk, oat cake, or handful of almonds or sunflower seeds.
106. A good night s sleep Try visualization
Rather than counting sheep, put yourself in a peaceful place. Imagine lying in warm sand on a balmy beach, reclining beside a tumbling waterfall, or watching a golden sunset. Experience the scene with all your senses: what can you hear, feel, and smell? In research studies at Oxford University, insomniacs who visualized themselves in a relaxing scene found sleep 20 minutes sooner than usual.
107. A good night s sleep Stop obsessing
Aim to think flexibly rather than obsessing about a sleep “problem.” Two hours' lost sleep a night doesn't reduce the ability to perform tasks states the UK's leading sleep expert, Professor Jim Horne.
108. A good night s sleep Sleep thinner
If you need a prompt to retire early, write this on a sticky note: “Lack of sleep may make me fat.” Research at Columbia University Medical Center found that people who got less than five hours' sleep a night were 50 percent more likely to be obese than those who slept for eight hours. Lack of sleep equates with raised production of an appetitestimulant hormone, and a reduction in a hormone that promotes the feeling of being sated.
109. A good night s sleep Establish a routine
Decide on a sensible bedtime, then write a timed plan of how you can achieve it. It might go like this: turn off computer, eat, clean up, take a warm bath, read or listen to music, turn off the light. Set real times to each activity, and stick to them.
110. A good night s sleep Creating a love temple
Remove all work-associated items from your bedroom. Devote the room to sleep (and love-making) only, and put crisp, clean sheets on your bed weekly.
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