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Sleep thieves are all around us and most of the time we don’t even realize they are there.   There are the sleep thieves that mask themselves behind good intentions like squeezing in a workout right before bed.  There are the “to much to do too little time” sleep thieves that trick us into thinking things like work or dishes are more important than getting a good night’s sleep.  Then there are the trickiest sleep thieves that seem to help but only leave you worse off in the end like that late afternoon cup of coffee that seems like just the thing to get you through the remainder of your day, but also keeps you from falling asleep that night leaving you just as tired tomorrow.   Fight back against the most common sleep thieves by using these quick fixes to help you get a good night sleep.

 

1.     Nick Naptime

Just like that afternoon cup of coffee for the caffeine, a nap might feel like just the thing you need but napping can make it even harder to fall asleep at night.  When you feel the need for a nap coming on, try doing the opposite and do something very active like going for a walk.  You might find that this is even more refreshing than a quick trip to dreamland.

 

2.    Eliminate Electronics

You don’t need to cut them out of your life, just get them out of your bedroom.  The blue light emitted from televisions, computer screens, and even cell phones can trick your body into thinking it isn’t time to sleep and interfere with the hormones that trigger sleep.  Leave the electronics in another room and tuck into a good old fashioned book instead.

 

3.     Cover the Clock

You may not realize it but being able to check the time in the middle of the night can negatively impact your sleep.   Rather than slipping off into dreamland, your mind can fixate on how few hours of sleep you have gotten or how little extra you can get if you’re feeling tired but it’s not quite time to get up, which can keep you awake much longer than if you weren’t aware of what time it was.

 

4.     Target the Temperature

Although some people might like to curl up under a pile of blankets and others may prefer sleeping with nothing more than a single sheet, the right temperature for sleep is pretty consistent for all of us.  Most people sleep best when the temperature is between 68 and 72°.  If you don’t like burrowing under the blankets, make sure the temperature in your room supports getting a good night sleep.

 

5.     Ditch Your Drinks

Whether you are sipping water or wine, drinking too close to bedtime can impact your sleep.  While alcohol may make you drowsy, it definitely doesn’t help you sleep and drinking much too close to bedtime can cause you to wake up more often over the course of the night.  Drinking a lot of anything, even water, in the hours before bedtime can impact your sleep if you have to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

 

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