I can blog posts until the end of time and never overestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. A healthy night’s rest is one of the most important things a person can do to maintain a youthful appearance and lifestyle.
- Sleep Improves your Memory. As you sleep, your brain organizes your memories for you.
2. Adopt a Sleep Schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. As you work on your sleep schedule, allow yourself eight hours sleep in every 24-hour period. This can be a real help because your body will soon prepare itself to sleep in the evenings when it’s time to go to bed. Your circadian schedule will really help you out here.
3. Make your bedroom dark at night. It’s easier to sleep in a darkened room. The darker you can keep your bedroom at night, the better.
4. Check your meds. There are many meds which can interfere with your normal sleep. Check the meds you’re taking. Change out any meds and/or foods and beverages which might be the culprits.
5. Nothing is more likely to induce sleep than being in the dark. Night time is when we produce melatonin.
There are things we can do to encourage sleepiness. When night approaches, keep your lights down low and avoid overhead lighting. Use dimmer switches on lights and lamps.
While you are enjoying a calming evening in a darkened room, this is a good time to enjoy softened and restful music. Or, this is a good time to do some gentle yoga stretches. Or, this is a time to do some calming breathing. Finally, this is a good time to enjoy the cool stillness of the night air, the stars in the sky, a moonlit night.
But, whatever you do, include darkness as part of your nightly routine.
6. High Blood Pressure? Sleep helps lower blood pressure and elevated stress hormones. Get treatment.
7. Valerian has a reputation for improving sleep quality. Taken properly, this may work for you.
8. Anxiety, Depression, and Tension are three common causes of insomnia. If you think you suffer from one of these, get treatment. Treating your anxiety, depression, or tension may well take care of your insomnia issues.
As you try out these different tips, remember that getting from insomnia to a good night’s sleep is a journey. You’ll find things that work and things that don’t work. And, none of it will work or not work 100% of the time.
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More and more people seem to be suffering from lack of sleep. Stress is overtaking our lives, it seems. About a third of the people I encounter are battling insomnia. But, stress isn’t the only cause of insomnia. Low levels of estrogen and thyroid can rob you of your sleep. Adrenal imbalances prevent sleep. Nutritional deficiencies contribute to insomnia. And on and on and on…
With this article, I offer the first in a series of posts dedicated to suggestions you can use to assure you a better night’s sleep. You may have some client partners to share this information with also.
Some suggestions may be things you already know about. That’s okay, it’s always nice to review and update information you may have forgotten you know.
Other suggestions will be new. That’s good, too. It’s always nice to add new skills to your tool box.
But, whether they’re tried and true, or brand new, give them a try.
- Simplify your bedroom. By that, I mean: Move all your electronic devices out of your sleep space. Computers, phones, TV’s, etc., emit signals as well as lights which can disturb a good night’s sleep.
- Hide your alarm clock under your bed or in your closet. The last thing you need on a sleepless night is to be continually reminded of how quickly or slowly time is passing.
- Regular Exercise is important. Try to get at least twenty minutes of exercise daily. This habit will not only help you sleep better, but it will help you feel better during the day, too.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco in the evenings. I know this sounds super boring, but this suggestion is both real and completely spot on. As evening approaches, drop the coffee, and go for other foods and beverages which are relaxing. One of my favorite bedtime snacks is a small container of plain Greek yogurt topped with whipped cream. It’s nutritious, delicious, and it never keeps me awake. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I eat this as a snack to help me go back to sleep.
- Then, there’s the old tried and true Usui Reiki Therapy. When a client complains of insomnia, offer to teach him/her Reiki. I find Reiki to be one of the best sleep aids out there. When I use Reiki as as way of going to sleep, I never make it through a session. I’m always asleep in less than 20 minutes.
- Develop winding down habits to help you prepare to be sleepy as you go to bed. This may mean a guided meditation, calming music, warm bath.
- SKIP THE SLEEPING PILLS. There are many herbal and nutritional preparations that may work for you. Try them out until you find one you like best. For your first selection, you may want to try melatonin, a product which should be taken about an hour before going to bed. Melatonin is not a sleeping pill. It will only work if you have a low melatonin level.
- Start paying attention to your sleep habits by learning when you go to bed in the evenings. Your goal is to be able to allow yourself about eight or so hours to sleep each night.
Finally, I don’t know about you, but I hate the way I feel when I don’t get enough sleep.
Thanks for reading the first in this series of sleep promoting posts. Insomnia is so prevalent these days. It’s accompanied by depression and anxiety.
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Check in regularly to learn more things you can do to get a good night’s sleep.
PS: I have more information about insomnia in my book.