Is it difficult for you to "roll out of bed" in the morning? Do you have a hard time concentrating in the morning and feel like you're running around in a fog for most of the day? Are you constantly trying to "snap yourself out of it?" If this sounds like you, then you may not be getting enough uninterrupted sleep. Most adults need between 8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night in order to function at their best.

Why "uninterrupted" sleep? Because normal sleep is composed of "sleep cycles" with each cycle made up of two distinct parts, one physical and one mental. During the first, or physical, part of the cycle, you do not dream. Your body uses this time to physically heal and rejuvenate itself. If you miss this phase of the sleep cycle or if it's interrupted, your body will feel tired and drained and you'll have trouble maintaining physical coordination.

You dream during the mental phase, or the second part, of the sleep cycle. During this phase, your mind plays out your stresses and troubles and resolves all the little issues that bother you throughout the day. This is usually accompanied by rapid eye movement and is also known as "REM" sleep or dreaming sleep. People who are deprived of dreaming sleep have a difficult time staying focused mentally.

A typical sleep pattern usually involves 4 to 7 complete sleep cycles during the night, with each sleep cycle lasting 60 to 90 minutes. Getting enough uninterrupted sleep is important since waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle usually leaves you feeling tired or groggy or both.

Here are some tips to help make sure you get your full "40 winks" and wake up feeling mentally and physically refreshed.

Make Sure You're Ready To Go To Sleep

Just because you're ready to go to bed doesn't mean you're ready to sleep. If you lie awake in bed for more than 30 minutes, then your mind is still too active and not ready for sleep yet. You might have some unfinished business you're thinking about or there may be something else that's occupying your mind. If this happens, get out of bed and go into another room. Put on some relaxing music or read some light fiction until you start feeling sleepy. You might also try sipping some warm milk or herbal tea. The idea is to try to get your mind to relax so avoid doing anything that will stimulate the mind like trying to work or watching TV. When you find that you've read the same paragraph 3 times and still can't remember what it says, you're probably ready to sleep.

Make Your Bedroom Conducive to Sleep

Your bedroom should invite sleep by being quiet, dark, and comfortable. The room should be at a slightly cool temperature and have plenty of good ventilation. Keep a clock handy but out of sight so you won't be tempted to stare at it if you wake up in the middle of the night. The bedroom curtains should be heavy enough to block out any stray light. If outside noise is an issue, consider a "white noise generator" or something similar. Lastly, take a critical look at your bed. If you have a traditional mattress and haven't replaced it in several years, it might be time to consider a new one. Your old mattress might be keeping you up at night.

Stick to a Routine

Try to set and keep a sleep routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on holidays and weekends. This will help to "program" your body clock to a preset sleep period. Keeping a set routine will make it easier to fall sleep at night and easier to wake up in the morning. Your body will also be able to adjust the length of the sleep cycles so that they are completed within the allotted time.

Don't Work in Bed

Your body should be conditioned to "shut down" and sleep as soon as you lie down in bed. Therefore, don't watch TV, pay bills, or do office work while in bed. Doing so will keep your mind active for hours and all you'll do is toss and turn for most of the night. If you must work, go into another room and return to your bedroom only when you're actually ready to sleep.

Don't Bring Worries To Bed With You

Before you go to bed, write down anything that is worrying or bothering you and make a promise to yourself that you'll think about it the first thing in the morning. You have no idea how liberating this is until you try it! Once you write things down, your mind no longer feels compelled to constantly remind you about it. Keeping a journal is an excellent way to "download" and capture all of the day's worries and problems onto paper so you won't lie awake all night thinking about them.

Wind Down in the Evening

Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine and eating heavy meals for 2-3 hours before bedtime. A late meal or a nightcap will actually activate your digestive system making sleep difficult. Caffeine is a stimulant and is an ingredient of many beverages including coffee, teas, and soft drinks. Avoid these altogether in the late evening or make sure you're drinking the "decaf" version.

Sleep is something we all take for granted but it's an essential part of staying healthy. These tips should help you get a full night of restful, uninterrupted sleep. You'll start to feel the benefits immediately. You'll wake up feeling physically refreshed and mentally sharp. What a great way to start a new day!

About the Author:
Hiram Perez has made good health and fitness a lifelong study. Discover other simple and common sense techniques to improve your health and wellbeing by signing up for a free 5-part mini-course at www.Balance-Your-Health.com

Author's Bio: 

Hiram Perez has made good health and fitness a lifelong study. Discover other simple and common sense techniques to improve your health and wellbeing by signing up for a free 5-part mini-course at www.Balance-Your-Health.com