Some of us sleep well. Some of us wish we could sleep well. And, some of us battle sleep and try to improve it. And, for some, this is a lifelong endeavor. Sleep simply eludes us .
Even though I sleep well, I fall in the category of those who try to improve my sleep. Through the years, I’ve developed some techniques that give me a successful night’s sleep not just once in awhile…but most nights.
Sleep is a priority with me. And not just a decent sleep, either. I want and need a good night’s sleep every night.
An important step I take each evening before I get into bed is establish a sleep intention. I do this every evening because I want my sleep to be restful and serene. I want to sleep throughout the night because my goal is to wake up rested and ready for the coming day. This is the intention I set each evening before I get in my bed.
I begin preparing for sleep each evening in the morning before I leave home. My caffeinated drinks are exclusively early day beverages and I taper off the caffeine as the day goes on.
One way I do this is limit my coffee to no more than five cups a day. Even though five cups is my limit, often I never even get to five cups. I enjoy unsweetened iced tea so I may drink more tea than coffee.
As midday rolls around, I switch to a latte. I may occasionally have a decaffeinated coffee in the afternoon. But, not often.
Most of the time, my afternoon drink is a large unsweetened iced tea.
When I’m home relaxing, I resist the temptation to watch “just one more program”. And, I limit my email time after dinner. And, neither my TV nor my computer can be found in my bedroom because they can interfere with my sleep.
A SLEEP SCHEDULE
I try to maintain a sleep schedule so that I go to bed pretty much the same time every evening and I get up about the same time on weekdays.
A PERFECT BEDROOM
My bedroom is the most serene room in the house. The walls are a pale cream color. The carpet is a quiet brown. I have several pieces of art on the walls which make me feel calm and positive. Sleep comes easy in this room.
And, my bed is perfect! I love it. The mattress is sooo comforting.
Are your sheets comfortable? Some people love cotton sheets. Others prefer flannel sheets. I’m on the flannel sheet side of the argument. I love the feel of the flannel sheets every night of the year.
When you buy sheets, carefully check the labels to be sure that you get what you pay for. Be sure your sheets are good enough quality that you can wash them in hot water and put them in the dryer.
Is the sheet fabric tightly woven enough to keep away dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens.
Whatever you choose, make sure you have sheets and blankets that you like. You need to like the color. You need to like how the fabric feels when you touch it.
And finally, you need to feel your bedding is inviting.
Is your bedroom too hot or is it too cool? The last thing you want is to sweat or shiver throughout the night because when you’re shivering or sweating, you are not sleeping.
Your sleep doesn’t need to be disturbed with computer, smartphone, TV, and other appliances beep. So, they don’t belong in your bedroom.
CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
Clearing out the clutter in your bedroom really helps. An uncluttered space is calming, inviting, serene. Go for it! Try clearing out the clutter about fifteen minutes a day until the room is all cleaned out. You’ll feel better and sleep better for it.
When I started clearing out the clutter, I felt things would look better in my bedroom but I was unprepared for the wonderful difference an uncluttered space made in my sleep.
MOVE YOUR HOME OFFICE TO SOMEWHERE ELSE
Ban your office from your bedroom. When you bring your work to your bedroom, you make it harder to unwind as you think about tomorrow’s problems before you try to go to sleep.
There are a kazillion other things you can do to improve your sleep. I’ll be discussing them over time. Some of the suggestions I’ll bring up may not interest you. Try what seems good to you. As you discover what improves your better sleep, you’ll benefit from the changes.
You may find you look better, feel better, and think better. It’s worth the effort to change your habits and environment.
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Every day offers new opportunities to make healthy investments in ourselves. And, for me, the best investment I can make is the investment I make in my good health.
Below, I’ve listed some new things you can choose from to invest in your own good health. Enjoy!
MOVE FOR 30 MINUTES! This can be a quick walk during the day, or a trip to the fitness center to hop on a treadmill for thirty minutes. Or it can mean a bike ride or a dance class or a yoga session. But, whatever you choose, the important thing is you choose to move for at least thirty minutes every day. This healthy investment will pay for itself in dividends many times over.
BRUSH YOUR TONGUE for one minute every day. Your breath will smell better and your mouth will thank you.
KEEP A CALENDAR. Make a healthy investment in a smoother running day. The best way I know to get your day organized and your life simplified is to keep an appointment calendar. It doesn’t have to be large or elaborate. But, to keep track of where you’re expected to be each day can reduce stress because you’ll be less likely to forget an important appointment.
BREAKFAST IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY. Don’t skip it.
TAKE A VITAMIN. Just choosing which vitamin to take each day can be stress inducing. But, there are a few guidelines which can simplify the job. For starters, skip the time-release formulations. They may not be good for you and sometimes they elevate the price. Select a vitamin which doesn’t have a lot of additives such as sugars, artificial colors, preservatives. Skip chelated minerals. Vitamins are healthy investments.
GET ALL YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS AT ONE PHARMACY. Pharmacists offer good advice on many illnesses and diseases. Developing a relationship with your pharmacist is a good healthy investment. A pharmacist can be a good source of information for you. But, only if you get all your medicines from the same place. Otherwise, the pharmacist may not be completely aware of your situation.
TRY TO HAVE THE LEAST STRESSFUL DAY POSSIBLE. This means that you begin by promoting a calm attitude. Can you have a stress free commute? Begin each day by completing a to-do list for your day. Be as specific as possible. Print this list out on brightly colored paper (so you won’t lose it).
SCHEDULE SOME READING TIME. Spend at least fifteen minutes each day keeping up with activities in your areas of interest and work.
SLEEP IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN EXPERIENCE. Make sure you schedule enough sleep in every night. I know I keep writing about sleep but, honestly, it’s one of the most important things you do. When you sleep, your brain, your organs, your skin perform functions that are not done when you are awake. Sleep is essential and enough sleep is important. Sleep is a healthy investment.
KEEP HYDRATED. When we’re stressed, we forget to drink enough liquids. Liquids keep you awake, alert, refreshed, as well as prevent disease. So, drink up! Drink water, teas, juices. But, mainly, drink water throughout the day.
So, here you have the health lineup for the week. Hopefully you’ll find things that you can use to be healthier in your daily life.
Thanks for reading this blog post! Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.
I’ll be suggesting more options for healthy living soon. Thanks for reading .
FINALLY, the second edition of “A Healer’s Handbook” is out. Hope you enjoy it!
Hope to hear from you soon! You can order “A Healer’s Handbook” at http://www.thurmangreco.com.
There are, literally, thousands of things all of us can do. It’s the small changes which add up to meaningful health improvement. I’m offering a group of changes in each blog post which you can choose from. Choose one new thing each day if you can.
My grandmother used to say to me: “You take care of the nickels and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Healthy Small Steps are the same thing. Add healthy habits or lose unhealthy habits a day at a time to change your life for the better.
Substitute A BOTTLE OF WATER for that daily soda. Water is cheaper and wonderful for your urinary health. Don’t like water? Choose tea. There are many flavors out there without sugar, artificial colors, artificial flavors, in the lineup of ingredients.
Spend five minutes every day STRETCHING. You can do this while you’re watching TV. Your joints and muscles will thank you.
Put OLIVE OIL in your salad dressings. Your food will taste better and your body will be appreciative. My olive oil is organic and comes from California. It tastes delicious. It’s nutritious. Organic olive oil is a clean food. My salads are yummy.
Do you eat cereal? Sweeten it with CINNAMON instead of sugar. Your blood sugar levels will improve a bit.
Give yourself a TREAT! Call a friend to chat. Buy yourself a flower. Have a luxurious bath with scented soap. These are all simple, inexpensive ways to reduce stress in your life.
Add a POWER NAP to your day. Spend just a few minutes each day with your feet up, your eyes closed, breathing deeply, relaxing. The remainder of your day will go easier for you!
Switch to WHOLE GRAINS. Whole grain breads and cereals taste better and offer better nutrition. What’s not to love about them?
Sniff a sprig of ROSEMARY. This will give your brain a treat. You’ll be more alert and you’ll enjoy the scent. If you can’t get a sprig of rosemary, try putting a drop of rosemary essential oil on a tissue as a substitute.
QUIT SMOKING. Okay. This one may not be so easy, but the benefits are HUGE. Go for it!
Get a good night’s SLEEP. Okay, this one may not be so easy, either. But the benefits are also HUGE. For starters, schedule enough sleep time in every daily schedule.
Try some of these tips. Lifestyle changes have multiple health benefits. I’ll be sending more along in the next blog.
And, thanks for reading this blog post.
BOOK UPDATE: The second edition of “A Healer’s Handbook” should be out this week! And, I’ve begun volume 2!
I thank all of you for this. If no one were reading this book, this blog, there would be no need for a Volume 2.
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One path to better health is to practice preventive medicine. But what exactly, does that mean? Well, it means different things for every person because every person’s body is different.
And, to digress here, that’s a wonderful quality that I love about reflexology. Our bodies are different every single day and reflexology recognizes and respects that quality. Why?
Because, reflexology encourages homeostasis which is the balance of all the body systems. And, because our body systems are different every single day, reflexology sessions note the differences and encourage the body to balance itself.
The result? Better health! Reflexology sessions promote better health because of the homeostasis.
And, health promotion is often the small things that we do each day to prevent disease and to balance our bodies.
Disease prevention is best practiced daily, as we develop healthy habits which encourage homeostasis.
Many of the things we do regularly are easy, inexpensive, positive. Healthy living is something to be enjoyed by us all.
Join me on this journey to better health.
So, read this blog and the series of posts I’ll be writing to help you take steps which will result in a healthy body and healthier lifestyle.
These blog posts will be somewhat spiritual because health is a spiritual condition. I hope you enjoy reading these upcoming posts as much as I am enjoying writing them.
Thanks for reading this blog post!
Please share this article with your favorite social media network.
And, buy a copy of the book “A Healer’s Handbook”. It has many suggestions and much information about the spirituality of both disease and good health.
What is healthy, anyway? We’re all concerned about our health on some level. We try to eat better, exercise more, sleep more. There are many components to good health, but, at it’s basic level, what is healthy, anyway?
For starters, a leaner body is healthy. But, losing weight and keeping it lost can seem like chasing the Fountain of Youth.
And, of course, there is the old story about Ponce de Leon finding it. The Fountain of Youth headquarters is in St. Augustine, Florida. You can go there and visit it in a park setting. But, you don’t need to travel all the way to St. Augustine to visit the Fountain of Youth. Branches are right in your own community, maybe even in your neighborhood. Every fitness center around is a branch of the fountain of youth. All you have to do is join up and use a fitness center. The sidewalk in front of your home or office is also a branch of the fountain of youth. All you have to do is get out there and walk briskly for thirty minutes or so every day.
Using your fitness center regularly or walking briskly for a half hour each day will decrease your risk of developing diabetes. This will keep you on the path toward good health. And, while you exercise to protect yourself against diabetes, skipping sugary soft drinks and juices will help. And, if you have diabetes, find out from your health care professional how much exercise you need every day to strengthen your body as you work with this disease.
Trips to a fitness center and/or the healthy walks will help you develop a healthier heart and will help you reduce your risk of heart disease.
What is healthy? Visiting your local fitness center or walking helps you feel, look, and act better. It will also reduce your cholesterol levels. Add some dietary tips when you want to be healthy and you’re thinking of cholesterol. Use olive oil more often when you substitute it for less healthy oils, for example.
A brisk daily walk will strengthen your bones. You can also garden. Actually, the more things you can think of that will get you off your seat and on your feet, the better. And, while you’re getting off your seat, try walking a little faster on the sidewalk and running a little faster on the treadmill. A more intense workout will help you feel better.
What is healthy? Lowering your stress level is one way to improve your health. Hug your pet. And, if you don’t have a pet, can you hug a neighbor’s pet? Can you go to your local pound and walk a dog there? If you go to your pound and walk a dog briskly for a half hour, you’ll be doing two beneficial things at once!
And, what about your memory? Blueberries help. So do crosswords, scrabble, your local newspaper.
And, finally, what is healthy? Connection is healthy. Humans like to be connected to one another. This can mean different things to different people. Taking a class in something will help. Meeting the other people at the fitness center will strengthen your connection to your community. There are a million ways to get connected. A church, synagogue, or temple is there waiting for you. The important thing is to share yourself.
So, here are a few ways to help you define what is healthy for yourself. Find something you like and share yourself.
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The second edition of this book is on the way! Thanks to all of you who are using this book.
Can I offer you Ten Good Tips that will improve your life significantly and still be easy to adapt to your lifestyle?
I hope so! Well, they may not all be super easy to become a part of your life but don’t hit the escape button yet. Please just read these Ten Good Tips and see how many of them you already do and how many of them will be easy for you and how many will be a challenge.
I honestly believe this list is going to be easier than you think. Just, give it a try.
Drink a cup of tea each day and then drink seven more cups of water throughout your day.
Walk 10,000 steps a day. Actually, this may be a lot easier than you think. Many people already walk 10,000 steps daily. If that doesn’t work for you, try to walk for thirty minutes every day.
Can you quit smoking? Have you already quit smoking?
Every day, sit down and put your feet up. Get quiet for five minutes. That’s all.
Reach out to a friend every day. Just to say “hi” if nothing else.
Enjoy a piece of chocolate every day.
Eliminate prefabricated foods from your diet. You know what I mean. The instant macaroni and cheese that I lovingly call “yellow death” and the canned chili with ingredient words no one can pronounce. And, don’t forget the peanut butter with an ingredient list that takes up half the label.
Switch over to olive oil based salad dressings to control cholesterol.
Skip sugary soft drinks and bubbly sodas that have sugar substitutes instead of sugar. Either way, your body won’t miss them.
Add blueberries to your diet to enhance your memory. I buy frozen wild blueberries in bulk to cut their cost. Wild ones actually have more nutrients which are found in the skins because wild blueberries are smaller than the farmed ones. I put them over plain yogurt. Love it!
I’ve added a couple extra items to the list so you’ll have a choice.
Thank you for reading this article!
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The Second Edition of “A Healer’s Handbook” should be available within about two weeks! Thanks to every for your support of this book! Thurman
Still can’t sleep? It’s turning out to be a cold winter in Woodstock this year. But, still not as cold as one would think. The snow melts between the storms.
All these temperature ups and downs invite insomnia in some people. As many articles as I’ve written about sleep, there are always more tips waiting to find space on the blog post.
Still can’t sleep? Have you changed your pillow? If you find yourself awake at night and slugging it out with your pillow, it’s time to go to a store and find one that’s just right for you. There are so many kinds of pillows out there now that a person can get confused. Don’t give up. Think about the kind of pillow you need. You’ll find it!
Sip some mild tea as you relax yourself before going to bed. Give yourself an hour to slow down your systems, calm your brain and nerves.
Still can’t sleep? Try to eat your last meal of the day about three hours before you go to bed. If you are afraid you’ll be hungry, eat a banana before you go to bed.
Wear ski socks when you go to bed. Studies show that people sleep better if their feet are warm.
Have you moved your office out of your bedroom? If not, now is a good time.
What about your curtains? Heavier curtains block light and encourage sleep.
Finally, if you have read all these blog posts about sleep, and none of the tips seem to work for you…it might be time to try a sleep center and take a sleep test.
Thanks for reading this article.
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I’ll be posting more regularly now that the reflexology book is going into it’s second edition and the hunger book is nearing the end. You’ll be reading about their availability soon!
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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Thanks for reading the book.
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.
Do you attend continuing education classes, workshops, sessions throughout the year? If not, you’re missing out on the most important part of self-care.
Continuing education classes not only teach us new ideas, techniques, attitudes, postures…they stimulate our minds.
Continuing education classes offer emotional and spiritual stimulation.
Continuing education classes offer networking opportunities of a quality not found anywhere else.
Every continuing education experience is reflected in better work on your client partners.
In addition, continuing education classes usually offer a chance to receive and give body work while you’re learning.
You return to your table renewed and rejuvenated.
Continuing education classes offer you a chance to expand your service skills. I am a reflexologist. This is the work I offer my client partners daily.
I am also known for being a companion animal massage therapist, a Reiki master teacher. I have been attuned to nine different forms of Reiki. Finally, I read tarot cards.
I learned all of these skills on continuing education hours.
To be honest, I’ve studied things that I don’t practice but not one minute of the continuing education hours were a bust.
I am a much better practitioner, blogger, writer, teacher because of my fellow professionals who shared their knowledge with me through continuing education classes: Jonathan Rudinger, Penelope Smith, Dawn Hayman, Mary Ruth Van Landingham, Shoshana Hathaway, Tom Rigler, Rev. Dan Chesbro, Kerrith McKechnie, Marge D’Urso, Alberto Villoldo.
So, my message is this: enrich your life, expand your practice, get continuing education hours!
Thanks for reading this blog post.
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