Follow these researched tips for good night’s sleep

The Center for Disease Control reported in a study that about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems, with the issue being associated with injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life/well-being, increased health care costs and loss of work productivity. Sleep problems can contribute to major issues in life, including obesity and depression.

The Military Method is a widely accepted way to fall asleep. It focuses on relaxation and visualization. The method is supposed to work for 96 percent of people within six weeks of practice. 

To begin, relax your entire face. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Relax facial muscles. The next step is to relax your shoulders, biceps, forearms and hands, starting by relaxing on the right side of your body before moving to the left. Try to release all of the tension. Next, relax your thighs, calves, ankles and feet, again starting on the right and moving to the left. 

The final step is to clear your mind. One way to clear your mind is to hold an image in your head. If this does not work for you, many will repeat the phrase, “Don’t think,” for 10 seconds as a distraction from what is keeping you awake.

Another successful practice to fall asleep is the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique. The idea of this method is to breathe in for four counts, hold that breath for seven counts and exhale for eight counts. For this method to be fully effective, repeat the process three more times. Studies show that the method will lower sympathetic activity in the nervous system, allowing the body to be put into a restful state. 

Some habits that can help you fall asleep are sleeping at a cooler temperature, having a balanced sleep schedule, not looking at a clock, not sleeping throughout the day and avoiding eating and screen time before sleeping.

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