Not getting enough or good quality sleep, can take years off your life.

Not getting enough or good quality sleep, can take years off your life.

Getting enough sleep is one of the main pillars of good health.

Johns Hopkins University researchers found that women who regularly worked night shifts increased their risk for developing breast cancer by 20% compared with women who did not.

Night shift workers are at high risk of developing other health problems such as hypertension, high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol, as well as a wider waistline circumference.

Not only the sleep cycle is important, but also the amount and the quality, are important.

So what does good sleep pattern look like? Being able to fall asleep within a half hour after going to bed, falling asleep before 10 pm, sleeping uninterrupted for 7-9 hours and waking up at around 6 am without needing to set your alarm.

Here are a few tips to achieve good sleep.

1. Sleep environment should be cool and completely dark.

2. Going to bed at about same time every night, and for sure, before 10 pm. Be asleep by 10 pm. The best sleep is between 10 pm to midnight. If one misses that window, will feel tired next morning, even when getting the right amount of sleep.

3. Going to bed with an empty stomach. Not eating anything within 3-4 hours before laying in bed. The food one has at dinner should be lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber and healthy fats.

4. Eating foods rich in magnesium at dinner, helps one relax. If that is not feasible, a magnesium supplement taken in the evening may help.

5. Keeping all lights in the house dimmed and avoiding exposure to any electronic screens within 2 hours of bedtime.

6. Reducing stress, or rather how the stress affects us. Reading a book or listening to soothing music (or an app like Calm).

7. Ask your bed partner if you move or if you snore in your sleep, and talk to your doctor about this.

There are many other natural remedies and healthy habits that could help us achieve better sleep.

Please check with us, if you have any concerns or need help with your sleep.

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