Another Tip of the Day from the Shelby Chamber of Commerce in recognition of National Worksite Wellness Week compliments of Montana Chamber Choices.


How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Tired of tossing and turning? Follow these tips to make nighttime the right time for relaxation.

Wake up, sleep-deprived Americans! Lack of sleep can make you sick.

"People who sleep less than six hours a night visit the doctor much more frequently than people who sleep well," says Harry Kerasidis, M.D., director of the Calvert Memorial Hospital Sleep Disorders Center in Prince Frederick, MD.

The research backs it up. A January 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that people who sleep at least eight hours a night are far less likely to catch a cold then those who sleep less than seven hours a night.

More serious health problems can result, too. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2005, lack of sleep can causes hormone changes that might lead to obesity.

Rules to Snooze By

What if you've resolved to give yourself much-needed sack-time, only to spend the night tossing and turning? Follow these guidelines. They'll not only help you fall asleep fast, they'll promote quality sleep - deep, restful slumber that leaves you feeling alert and refreshed the next day.

*   Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Caffeine makes it tough to doze off (even 12 hours later for some people). Alcohol may make you sleepy, but it also makes you wake up more often during the night. Nicotine plays havoc with sleep, too.

*   Keep a schedule. We all love that Saturday morning sleep-in, but if you're struggling with insomnia during the week, it's critical to maintain a routine for going to bed and rising - even on the weekend.

*   Make time for exercise. People who exercise regularly - even if it's just a brisk stroll at lunch - tend to sleep better at night. But evening exercise can make it harder to fall asleep; schedule your workout for morning or afternoon.

*   Rethink your bedroom. Replace lumpy pillows or a sagging mattress. Use light-blocking shades or an eye mask to keep the room dark, and earplugs or a white-noise generator if noise disturbs you. Adjust the thermostat - a slightly cool bedroom is more conducive to sleep. And don't use your bed for late-night TV watching, Web browsing or eating. Hit the pillow only with sleep on your mind.

*   Slide into the tub. A hot bath is more than relaxing - studies suggest it causes body temperature to drop a little afterwards, which may be a cue that triggers the body's instinct to sleep.

*   Talk to your doctor. If sleepiness is interfering with daily life, or if you're nodding off during the day (even if it's at a very boring meeting), talk with your doctor.