Tips to a better night's sleep

We all need a good night's rest. But so many distractions can get in the way these days.

From our iPads to smart phones to social media.

Dr. Melissa Denham with Patient First says everyone should try to go to bed the same time every day with the goal of getting 7 to 9 hours a night.

She says "You should not do any of that an hour before you go to sleep because it really does stimulate your brain and make it harder to turn your brain off when you try to go to sleep."  

A few simple changes in the bedroom can help. Dr. Denham says, "Trying to keep your bedroom dark, getting blinds if the sun wakes you up first thing in the morning, another thing you can do is to get rid of the TV out of the bedroom. I know we're all guilty of wanting to watch tv in bed but it can keep you awake."   

And if something on your mind is keeping you awake, it helps to keep a notepad by your bed to jot things down.

Dr. Denham says, "A lot of times we remember something we have to do the next day and we obsess about it because we don't want to forget and that keeps us from falling asleep. So if you write it down then it just helps you to kinda get it out of your mind and set it aside until tomorrow."  

When eating dinner avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks and alcohol. And if you exercise, don't save it for the end of the day.

"Exercise is good but you want to try to exercise towards the beginning of the day because it tends to stimulate you. If you wait till right before bed then it can keep you awake."

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