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Getting Better Rest, Part 2

Our last tip covered four ways to promote better rest and sleep, which are vital for overall, optimal health. Get five more simple suggestions here!

Rest is as important as physical activity for general health. Identify periods during the day when you can be without stimulation, doing nothing, and make time for them. Consider the following when planning rest into your schedule:

  1. To minimize early waking, try to postpone the evening meal until after dusk.
  2. If your mind is too active when you get into bed, you will not be able to fall asleep - no matter how tired you are. Learn and practice one or more relaxation techniques that can help you disengage from thoughts.
  3. Consider natural sleep aids. Valerian and melatonin are both effective remedies for occasional insomnia.
  4. Determine how much sleep is optimal for you. People vary in their need for sleep, from as few as four hours a night to as many as 10. Most require seven to eight hours, but ideal amounts can change over time, and may vary from day to day. You can adjust your bedtime and see how you feel after sleeping for various amounts of time, or simply note how much you slept on days when you feel rested and productive.
  5. If you do wake early, try to use the time productively. Read or write for an hour, then try to go back to sleep until morning. Think of the yin-yang symbol, which symbolizes harmony with a small dot of white on a black background and vice versa. Seen from this perspective, a period of nighttime wakefulness complements your daytime nap.