9 Habits For A Good Night’s Sleep


If you want a healthier brain, to live longer and to stay looking and feeling younger for longer, get enough sleep.

Your brain needs 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every day.

When you don’t get enough sleep your brain has a hard time dealing with stress, it gets irritable, and it has a hard time paying attention. On the other hand, getting adequate sleep helps your brain learn new things and develop new habits.

When you’re awake, you have new experiences and learn new things. When you sleep, brain processes help you integrate those new experiences and learnings into your memory. This makes you more effective during your waking hours, in work and outside.

Did you know that sleep deprivation has also been shown to damage brain cells?


So, here are 9 habits for a good night’s sleep:


  1. No caffeine after lunch. Caffeine can stay with you for up to 12 hours leaving you wide awake at bedtime. If you need an energy jolt, try going for a brisk walk outside.
  2. Unplug. Cozying up to your laptop in bed could disrupt your sleep. The content stimulates your brain. And the emitted blue light mimics daylight. It can stop the production of melatonin – the sleep hormone.
  3. Exercise early in the day. Exercise is great for reducing stress and this helps sleep. But it also increases your body’s core temperature, making it harder to fall asleep. Exercise at least 2 hours before bedtime. Earlier would be even better.
  4. Downsize dinner. Large meals take a long time to digest, delaying the onset of sleepiness. Try and make lunch your big meal of the day…or at least eat a bit more for lunch and little bit less in the evening.
  5. Skip the “nightcap”.
  6. Don’t work in bed. Especially on your computer. Stop working at least an hour before bedtime.
  7. Sleeping pills? No thanks. Better not at all. A study reported in the BMJ Open journal found regular sleeping pill users were 4.6 time likelier to die prematurely.
  8. Make your bed. The National Sleep Foundation found that 44% of people who make their beds tend to sleep more soundly than those who don’t.
  9. Sleeping in at the weekend. Wide variations in your sleep-wake cycle can cause insomnia. If you are dying for a sleep-in, try and keep it to just an hour more than your normal “get up time”.


I also read recently that a cup of cherry juice is great for inducing sleep. Just 2 glasses are thought to help you sleep 40mins longer, as it helps raise melatonin levels in the brain.

And a great book on this topic is “Sleep Thieves” by Dr. Stanley Coren.

For a younger, sharper, more flexible brain, be sure you get your zzzz!

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