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Beauty Rest Basics: 8 Secrets to a Great Night's Sleep

by Susie Shina

(It’s easier and more important than you think!)

If there’s one thing I do really well, it is sleep. I love a good afternoon nap, I go to bed early and always wake up refreshed and excited to start my day. If you hate me, you’re not alone. My husband is a night-owl, wakes up on the wrong side most mornings and thinks napping is for babies. He can’t understand how I can fall asleep in 30 seconds and not be bothered by the neighbors’ barking dog or our 6 year-olds’ nightly ghost sightings. Everyone is entitled to a great night’s sleep... It’s more important than you think!  These are the things that work for me each and every night:

  1. Invest in a sleep mask. I’ve been wearing a sleep mask for over twenty years. It really helps shut out the rest of the world leaving you to take care of business.
  2. Take it all off. That’s right, get naked. Wash your face, brush your teeth and take off all of your clothes. You’ve been wearing clothes all day… give your body a well deserved break.
  3. Move your clock.  Put your clock on the other side of the room. Seeing what time it is can stress you out.  It shouldn’t matter what time it is until the alarm goes off in the morning.
  4. Limit the alcohol.  I have a glass of wine every night.  More than a heavy handed glass will make your body metabolize the sugar and you’ll wake up in the middle of the night when it does. Ugh.
  5. Hot sex.  Forget the sleeping pills.  The very best sleep aid is great sex.  Even if you think you’re not in the mood, give it a go and enjoy the sleep that comes after.
  6. Turn the TV off.  Lulling yourself to sleep with the TV fills your mind with the images you’ve been shown.  Give your brain the chance to work out the stuff that is specific to your life each night.
  7. Close the kitchen.  Try not to eat anything 2 hours before you go to bed.  Your body will be able to burn extra calories for its’ nightly tune-up instead of digesting food.
  8. Write it down.  If something is weighing on your mind, write it down before you go to bed.  If you do wake-up in that alert state in the middle of the night, go ahead and get up.  It’s your creative spirit trying to get some stuff done.

So now you know my secrets for a great night’s sleep. But why is sleep so important? Just like you have things to do during the day to keep things running smoothly, your body has a job to do at night to keep you in prime condition so you are able to do what you do. Here are a few of the great benefits of sleep:

  • The hormones that regulate appetite are released only when you get 7 or more hours of sleep each night. These hormones help you maintain your weight effortlessly!
  • The body repairs itself from the harmful effects of stress while you sleep. This greatly reduces your risk of depression.
  • Enough sleep bolsters your memory, makes you more productive during your waking hours and improves your overall mood.
  • The hormone melatonin is produced during your sleep cycle. This is thought to protect against cancers and suppresses the growth of tumors.
  • Sleep reduces inflammation of the organs, reduces stress on the heart and regulates blood pressure.
  • Cells regenerate during adequate sleep offering the very best anti-aging solution around. Don’t forget how great you look without those bags and circles under your eyes!

Sleep is the cornerstone of health and best of all you can do it with your eyes shut!

Susie Shina is the creator/author of 60Second Circuits:1000 exercise combos to Get your Body Back! Susie is the creator of Fit Enough.™and continues to be a sought -after expert fitness resource and contributing writer for several publications and websites.

©2008 Team Shina Go! Inc. Fit Enough.™

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