Dr. Oz on sound sleep, less stress and better sex

Dr. Oz to the rescue! Follow his three easy rules to live healthier, happier and longer starting tonight

Woman in bed smiling

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How to get the best rest of your life
People sleep better when the body’s core temperature isn’t too hot, so to have the most restful night you need to chill out — literally! Start by programming your thermostat to go down to 20 degrees Celsius (or 68F) about an hour before bed. A cooling pillow also helps on hot summer nights. These handy sleep aids (available at most department stores for about $25) have a cold-water insert that keeps your head cool and helps regulate your body temperature.

Light also plays a major role in sleep, and not all light is equal. Blue light, like the kind that comes from your
cell, computer or TV, stimulates the brain, making it harder to fall into a deep slumber. Orange light, on the other hand, helps induce sleep. Use orange bulbs in your bedroom reading lamp (available online for under $5). Finally, snack on some melatoninrich foods, like tart cherries, walnuts or tomatoes, a few hours before turning out the lights. Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone, and an increase before bed tells your brain that it’s time to rest.

Learn to take control of stress
As a heart surgeon, I’m very familiar with the devastating toll stress can take on your body. Believe me, you can take control of it if you make it a priority. How? Begin by looking for ways to reduce anger and frustration in your life. Maybe that means taking a lunch break away from your desk or doing yoga once a week — it all helps. Once you identify why you’re upset, write down your triggers, and then ask yourself what you have the power to change — your attitude or the situation — to eliminate any negative emotions. You’ll soon discover that you can decrease frustration in your life, and the stress that comes along with it. Focus on things you can control, communicate clearly and use positive affirmations — such as “It’s okay to put energy into things I want,” “I love taking care of myself” or “I deserve to feel happy.” And if you need a quick fix, I love aromatherapy. Whiffs of essential oils like lavender and sandalwood are proven to help calm the mind and soothe stress.

Why you should make love tonight
I’m just going to be frank about this. Who doesn’t want a satisfying sex life? But until recently, we’ve had a sexual famine in North America that lowered happiness levels and might even cut our lifespans by several years. Then along came an obscure but steamy trilogy — the Fifty Shades series by E L James — to reignite our interest in talking about and enjoying sex. This literary hit may be single-handedly re-energizing countless relationships and jump-starting sex lives. How? Because it’s fired up our collective sexual imagination. When the brain is filled with arousing thoughts, it activates nerves in the body (including our sexual organs). This sensation leads to increased blood flow, which in turn ignites desire. So whether you like the trilogy or not, seek out new ways to connect with your partner and spark your imagination. You’ll reduce your risk of heart attack, lower stress, burn calories, relieve pain — and, of course, have fun!

See more Dr. Oz-approved health tips here.

Dr. Oz is a renowned heart specialist and North America’s favourite health guru. The Dr. Oz Show airs weekdays (4 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. CT) on CTV.