Week 7 (Health): Help Sleeping? Prepare your body for Sleep.

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UnknownDo you need help sleeping? For a week prepare your body for sleep! Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our sleep cycles. When we lower the lights, our bodies begin to release melatonin, which makes us feel sleepy. It is amazing how much our bodies relax when we remove the constant stimulation we face throughout the day. Don’t check facebook on your phone or send an email right before bed; it hinders the body’s ability to fall asleep.

Be BETTER believes that sleep is one of the most important factors in attaining a healthy lifestyle. This week, our health goal is to focus on preparing your body for sleep. We don’t realize how important it is to create time before bed to put away all electronics and simply read a book, take a bath, dim the lights, or listen to calming music to help our bodies release the melatonin that helps us sleep.

After a week of deliberately preparing your body for sleep, notice whether you are falling asleep faster, easier, deeper and BETTER.

Health.com outlines 7 habits that prepare your body for sleep.

We love the recommendation to take a hot bath. Health.com says, "Your temperature naturally dips at night, starting two hours before sleep and bottoming out at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., according to a 1997 study conducted by New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. When you soak in a hot tub, your temperature rises--and the rapid cool-down period immediately afterward relaxes you. Two hours before bed, soak in the tub for 20 or 30 minutes, recommends Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D., associate professor at New York University School of Medicine. "If you raise your temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep," she says. “A shower is less effective but can work, as well."

Click here for sleeping tips from health.com