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Challenge: Taking Care of YOU

Take Ownership Over Your Sleep

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I'm getting some of the best sleep I've gotten in years right now.

However, this is on the heels of some changes I consciously made after realizing I had been getting some of the worst sleep ever.

Not only am I the epitome of a night owl, but I also work from home. Hours in front of electronics devices, mixed with a sporadic schedule can lead to weird sleep. It started taking its toll, to the point that I just didn't quite feel like myself physically and mentally.

But now, my days come and go with ease, because I'm sleeping peacefully and enjoying the health benefits that come with it. If you're like I was up until very recently, and can relate to the 70 million Americans suffering sleep deprivation, perhaps the things I picked up that helped me can help you too.

Find A Physical Activity You Like And Do It Vigorously And Often

Let's face it -- the lifestyle most of us live doesn't require us to burn enough physical energy to be naturally tired when it's time to go to sleep. Most jobs today are sedentary, so while mental fatigue most definitely sets in, our bodies haven't burned that much energy.

So what we have is a difficulty falling asleep at night, which we mask with web surfing, TV and sleep medications.

However, when you physically exert yourself enough during the day, you're going to fall asleep whether you like it or not. A fatigued body will quiet a restless mind, barring any trauma or intense stress.

I recently starting running a few miles every day after taking a long stretch of time off from working out. Now my brain is sharper, I have more energy and focus during the day, and when bedtime arrives, I'm ready to go to sleep.

Always check in with a doctor so that you're ruling out the possibility of medical issues affecting your sleep. PTSD can cause insomnia and conditions like sleep apnea can also affect the quality of sleep you get. Opting for treatment for these sleep related conditions will work in your favor while you find solutions.

Ditch The Lights And Devices Early In The Night

You'll find it much easier to fall asleep when you cut the lights a few hours before you're ready for bed.

This is more than just a bedtime ritual, it allows your brain to go into sleep mode quicker and deeper. When you're exposed to light, your mind and body are not ready to carry out the sleep processes, so it'll take you a little longer to drift off.

Aside from the lights in your rooms, also be sure to power off your electronic devices well before bed. Light from screens are horrible for your sleep patterns.

For best results, you can invest in some blinds that keep your room dark and optimize your sleep.

Get A Little Help From Some Supplements

You also need to give your body and brain some building blocks for optimal sleep.

Start by taking 3 mg of melatonin so that you can get fuller and more productive sleep cycles. Supplements like 5HTP are also shown to help people get better sleep.

Always drink plenty of water and give your body the vitamins it needs to avoid deficiencies.

If you follow these tips, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to start dozing off in no time.

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