Happiness, strength, memory, fitness, weight, anxiety, moods, skin, health and our emotions all benefit from rest. As we age, health risks from lack of adequate sleep can become serious. While there are no guarantees for avoiding heart disease, heart attacks or diabetes, 7-9 hours of sleep every night, may keep them in abeyance.

There aren’t many people who don’t actually like to sleep. However, there are many who have trouble falling and staying asleep. Here are a few tips for helping us all when we hit the pillow and decide to call it a night. • Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bed and alcohol at least 2 hours prior. • Exercise— walking more counts. • Avoid napping after dinner. • Try a warm evening bath or shower. • Read a book, which will tire your eyes, instead of surfing the web, which will stimulate them. • When you notice you’re sleepy, get in bed if you can. • Break the habits of working in bed or watching TV. • If possible, get yourself up everyday at the same  times—regardless of when you went to sleep. • Before getting into bed, write down anything worrying you or that you don’t want to forget, so you don’t wake up worrying you’re going to forget something. • When you can’t sleep, get up and read until your eyes get sleepy again. • Eliminate as much light as possible in your bedroom during sleep time. • Turn off electronic dingers on phones and other devices. • Keep the temperature of your bedroom between 65-68 degrees, and use light, cozy covers. • Ask your doctor if a melatonin supplement is suitable for you. Past age 50, melatonin, the brain hormone that acts as a sleep agent, declines. • Lastly, if you find yourself waking and feeling distressed…keep a pen and paper bedside. Write down whatever you’re thinking about. Then tell yourself that this is sleep time, and you can work on the issue in the morning.

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