Jackie Amende

Jackie Amende

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One in three Americans is getting six or less hours of sleep at night due to stress, studies have shown. Try some of these tips to reduce your stress and get more sleep:

1. Be physically active regularly. Aerobic exercise (brisk walking, running, biking, etc.) has been shown to increase endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body and can help improve sleep. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-pace physical activity each week.

2. Eat more nutrient-dense foods. Good nutrition is an important stress management tool. Make sure to have an eating schedule in place to ensure regular meals and choose highfiber foods and foods with healthy fats. In addition, try not to rely on caffeine and focus on rest, sleep, and water to keep you energized.

3. Practice meditation or relaxation techniques. Meditation and deep relaxation techniques have been shown to increase sleep time, improve sleep quality, and make it easier to fall asleep. Choose from a variety of different techniques and find what works best for you.

4. Set a regular sleep schedule. Ensure a schedule is in place to maintain sleep accountability. Start winding down before your scheduled sleep time by removing external light (TV, smart phones, and tablets), and choose to wind down instead by reading a book, writing in a journal, or chatting with your partner.

If you do find yourself lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep, get up and find something relaxing to do like journaling, reading, or meditating. Staying in bed when you cannot sleep can actually induce even more stress. Try going back to bed after 30 minutes of relaxing activity. For questions and/or for more information on health and wellness, please contact Jackie Amende at 208-459-6003, jamende@uidaho.edu, or visit the Canyon County Extension Office (501 Main St. Caldwell, ID 83605).

To have your health and wellness questions answered, contact the Canyon County Extension Office at 208-459-6003 or jamende@uidaho.edu.

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