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Sleep, it's so important

Sleep. Every living thing needs sleep, even plants. It's how we learn, process, grow and heal. Sleep deprivation has been connected with heart attacks, obesity, memory loss, dementia and cancer.

Here are a couple of simple things that help me.

• Change the bed linen more often. There's something lovely about clean fresh sheets.

• Don't keep checking the time throughout the night.

12 tips for better sleep

From the book by Matthew Walker "Why We Sleep"

  1. Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

  2. Exercise, but not too late in the day.

  3. Before bedtime, avoid coffee, cola, chocolate and nicotine.

  4. Before bedtime, avoid alcohol.

  5. Avoid large meals late at night.

  6. Avoid medications that delay or disrupt sleep.

  7. Don't nap in the afternoon.

  8. Relax before bed, allow time to unwind.

  9. Take a hot bath before bed.

  10. Have a cool, dark bedroom.

  11. Have exposure to natural light/sunlight every day.

  12. Don't just lie there worrying about not be able to sleep, get up and do something relaxing.

Fun Sleep Facts:

1 Chickens roost along a perch. The two at the ends only sleep with one half of their brain at a time. They literally keep one eye open and keep watch. After a while, they turn around to face the other way and let that half of their brain go to sleep and the other eye stays open!

2 Sleep deprivation messes with our hormones. It ramps up the one that tells us "We're hungry and need to eat!" and tones down the one that says "We're full now thanks. Stop eating."

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