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How to sleep better at night

Let’s start with a classic dad joke:

“I’m so good at sleeping, I can do it with my eyes closed.” (Your kids will love it, we promise.)

Funnily enough, but… is it true? For many of us, the answer is no. Sleep can be a challenge, even when (perhaps above all when) we know how important it is. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 to 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough sleep.

If these numbers include you, what can you do? We̵

7;re glad you asked. Here are some tips to help you rest a little easier at night.

In this article:

Deal with the stress

Too much stress is linked to health problems, and there’s no shortage of things to stress about, from work to money to relationships to the news. Even the same health problem can cause anxiety, leading to a vicious cycle of worry and insomnia.

To break that cycle, think about ways to deal with that stress. During the day, that might mean working with a therapist or making sure to get out for a walk or even just to sit. In the evening before going to bed, you can meditate or try aromatherapy. At any time you can journal.

And, of course, you should make a plan to deal with the direct source of that stress. If it’s money, budgeting can help. If it is a relationship, counseling may be helpful. If it’s news, consider limiting how much you consume, or find a way to turn those feelings into something constructive (like volunteering or donating to a worthy organization).

One thing to know is that eligible Haven Term policyholders get a free subscription to the Aaptiv fitness app via the Haven Life Plus bonus rider, and it’s packed with guided meditations — including ones designed to help you sleep.

Eat and drink with a purpose

Like a car, your body needs the right fuel to function optimally. Not using the right fuel can have negative effects, including sleep problems. According to an expert from Johns Hopkins, here are some foods to avoid:

Alcohol: Sure, drinking can make you sleepy, but over the course of a night, you’ll rest fitter after a night of imbibing. Reducing your intake, especially closer to bedtime, can help you get more healthy sleep.

Spicy Food: So many delicious foods are spicy, but if you have trouble sleeping, it’s best to avoid them for dinner. They can worsen acid reflux and can even increase your core temperature, making it difficult to fall asleep.

High-fat and high-protein foods: Steak, chicken, processed cheese and meat…all these admittedly good things take longer to break down in the body, which can keep you up at night. Some can even reduce your brain’s ability to regulate its sleep clock.

You should also monitor your caffeine consumption and consider cutting yourself off at a certain time of day to ensure your body has time to process it before bed.

Instead, think of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. You may also want to increase the number of hours between dinner and bedtime, if you can.

Get regular exercise

You know all the reasons why you should exercise. Exercise helps with your mental health. It can increase your life expectancy and increase the quality of those years if you were to live longer.

And guess what? It will improve your sleep too.

So how can you prioritize your exercise routine? One idea is to stop thinking of it as “exercise” (or “exercise”) and forget all the sweaty and spandex-y connotations that come with that terminology. Instead, think of it as movement – ​​it could be going for a walk, working in the garden, playing with your children or skipping the lift and taking the stairs. Even a few minutes of physical activity per day can have an exaggerated effect.

Another idea? Again, it’s the fitness app Aaptiv, which includes a wide variety of workouts for people of all ages and abilities. (And you can choose your workout based on how much time you have.) Eligible Haven Term policyholders receive a free subscription through the Haven Life Plus bonus rider.

Create a routine

For many of us, the demands of work and family mean that we are often busy until we crash. But according to most sleep experts, this approach robs us of critical time that goes from being awake to sleeping.

Improving your sleep habits can start with improving your sleep environment. Consider setting aside time in the evening to unwind before bed. You can journal or meditate, or put on some quiet instrumental music (Spotify has some great sleep playlists), or get lost in a book. Before that, you could go for a walk, engage in some gentle stretching, or just take time to talk to your partner or spouse.

Some other common suggestions:

  • Lower the lights.
  • Turn off all devices (or even store them in another room).
  • Make the room cool but comfortable.
  • Create a sleep schedule with a regular bedtime, even when the urge to binge an entire season of your favorite show is real

Whatever you find works for you, keep doing it.

When sleep doesn’t come

Some of those who have a lack of sleep have difficulty falling asleep. Others have problems remain sleeping. Either way, if you find yourself in bed and unable to sleep, consider getting up and moving around. You can sit nearby and read something relaxing, or again work on your deep breathing and meditation techniques.

This isn’t about waking up your body, though: Keep the lights low and continue to avoid devices.

When you start to feel sleepy again, go back to bed.

How Haven Life can help

We’ve already mentioned how eligible Haven Term policyholders can enjoy free access to a fitness app through our Haven Life Plus bonus rider. What we didn’t mention is that the same eligible policyholders also get free access to Timeshifter, a jet lag-fighting app backed by NASA-level science. (Hey, sleep is important, even for astronauts.)

But here’s what every Haven Term policyholder enjoys: Peace of mind. It comes from knowing your loved ones are financially protected through affordable life insurance. We can’t guarantee it will help you sleep better at night – but it can’t hurt.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they fit your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not be used for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to obtain advice from their own tax or legal advisor.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in some states, including NC) issued by CM Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Police and driver form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by AM Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is valid from 1 April 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other credit rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The driver is not available in all states and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual is responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party providers (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus

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