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Sleep 101: Resting well to reduce stress

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One of the top contributors to lost energy and heightened stress is lack of sleep. We get so caught up in other activities or watching television that we don’t go to bed at a decent hour. Or we lay awake going over and over the problems of the day or worrying about the ones facing us tomorrow. We need sleep to rejuvenate and heal our bodies and minds. The time we spend in slumber allows us the rest we require to function at our best.   Here are some ideas for bedtime:

·    Shut off the television at least an hour before bedtime to let your mind rest. 
·    Save your bedroom for sleep only. Don’t read, watch television, talk on the phone, play video or computer games or work in bed or your body won’t associate it as a place for rest. 
·    If you are a light sleeper and easily awoken by noises, invest in a white noise machine to mask the sounds of cars, pets, weather or other family members.
·    Before bedtime, set out your clothes for the next morning and make a list of all the things you have to do the next day so you won’t lay in bed thinking about them. 
·    Don’t eat or exercise right before bedtime. 
·    Relax before going to bed. Try deep breathing, meditation or other relaxation exercises in the hour before bedtime.
·    Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day including weekends. Your body will get into a rhythm making it easier to fall asleep.
 
Enjoy sleep and remember it is a time to heal, renew and refresh your body, mind and spirit! 
 
Excerpt from the Happy Hour Effect e-booklet “Living the Happy Hour Effect: Ideas to Re-Balance Your Work and Life” by Kristen Brown available free with purchase at www.HappyHourEffect.com.

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